Did the founder of the antivax movement fake autism-vaccine link?

By Phil Plait | February 7, 2009 4:33 pm

The UK-based Sunday Times has a potential bombshell on their site; they claim Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who started the whole "vaccines cause autism" garbage, faked his data to make that claim.

About 10 years ago, Wakefield published a study dealing with children who were autistic, developing symptoms shortly after getting their shots, and linked this with irritated intestinal tracts. This study came under a lot of fire, and eventually most of the authors retracted the conclusion that autism was associated with "environmental factors", that is, vaccinations. By then, though, it was too late, and the modern antivaccination movement was born.

The Sunday Times investigated Wakefield’s original research, and alleges that the symptoms Wakefield reports in his research do not match hospital records of the 12 children studied at the time. In only one case were there symptoms that arose after the injection; in many of the other cases symptoms started before the children had been vaccinated (in fact, there have been allegations for some time that neurological issues occurred in the children before they had actually been vaccinated, casting doubt on Wakefield’s work). Also, hospital pathologists reported that the bowels of many of the children were normal, but Wakefield reported them as having inflammatory disease in his journal paper.

If these allegations are true, then it means that Wakefield out-and-out lied in his original work. He has denied this, according to the Sunday Times, but won’t make further comments.

This may cause a firestorm in the antivax community, but there are two things I will guarantee: the first is that in the end antivaxxers will stick to their beliefs that vaccines cause health problems like autism, because this is not and never has been, for them, about the facts and evidence. It’s a belief system, and like most other belief systems, it is impenetrable to evidence. If you have any doubts, I suggest you read the comments to the post I made the other day about measles being on the rise in the UK. One commenter on that post is saying all manners of outrageous things, and ignores the evidence that I (and a pediatrician) have left in the comments to him.

Second, and somewhat related, this hardly matters. Many, many independent tests have shown that vaccines are unrelated to the onset of autism. There is vast evidence that vaccines are very safe, and what small risk they pose is massively outweighed by the good they do. Whether Wakefield faked his results or not, he’s still wrong.

The good news is that if this pans out, then perhaps there will be a net loss of people from the antivax side of the argument. The ones who are true believers won’t waver in their faith, of course, but anyone with doubts may finally see reality for the way it is.

I will be very interested indeed on following this story. If anyone finds more information, please send it along.

Tip o’ the syringe to BABloggee Todd Cissell.

Comments (290)

Links to this Post

  1. Brian Deer Discusses Andrew Wakefield in the Sunday Times « Holford Watch: Patrick Holford, nutritionism and bad science | February 7, 2009
  2. Did the founder of the antivax movement fake autism-vaccine link? « Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day | February 7, 2009
  3. UK Sunday Times: Founder Of Anti-Vaccination Movement Faked His Data « Mercury Rising 鳯女 | February 7, 2009
  4. de quoi voir rouge « Coffee and Sci(ence) | February 8, 2009
  5. Paper linking MMR vaccine to autism written with falsified data? :: canspice.org | February 8, 2009
  6. links for 2009-02-08 « MissM’s Blog | February 8, 2009
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  9. There isn’t enough punishment for this | Starts With A Bang! | February 9, 2009
  10. PoliTrix » Blog Archive » Anti-Vaccination Scientist Accused Of Manipulating Data | February 9, 2009
  11. Anti-Vaccination Scientist Accused Of Manipulating Data - Blogs - NewsSpotz | February 9, 2009
  12. One Vaccination Argument Gone « WhiteCoat’s Call Room | February 10, 2009
  13. Autism Blog - » Blog Archive » Fitzpatrick on the recent Wakefield news | February 11, 2009
  14. Carnival of Space #91 and a Side Note « Alice’s Astro Info | February 22, 2009
  15. Like measles, antivaxxers’ prevarications on the rise | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | February 27, 2009
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  17. Antivaxxers and their trouble with truth | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | March 28, 2009
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  19. Dateline’s shot at vaccines | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | September 2, 2009
  20. Review: Science Under Siege edited by Kendrick Frazier. : AstroGuyz.com | January 21, 2010
  21. Researcher Who Sparked the Vaccine/Autism Scare "Acted Unethically" - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine | January 28, 2010
  22. Researcher who promoted link between vaccines and autism acted unethically « Wood Chips | January 29, 2010
  23. The Volokh Conspiracy » Blog Archive » Anti-Vaccine Scientist Acted “Dishonestly and Irresponsibly” | January 30, 2010
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  25. Carnival of Space #91 and a Side Note | March 24, 2010
  1. AnthonyK

    If only I didn’t know that so many of the science stories featured in even the “quality” newspapers are flat out wrong. Which is what the anti-vaxers will clain, even if it isn’t true. I mean, who do you suppose owns the press? – that’s right BIG PHARMA – you know, our paymasters.
    That’s what they’ll say. Guarnateed.

  2. SionH
  3. I really hope that this trickles down to the families of autistic people.

    I work in the disability sector and it’s a shame how these ideas get taken up by the poor families, who are just trying to search for meaning.

    I’ll be posting this on the bulletin board on Monday

  4. This is absolutely mind boggling to even think about. I would love to get into Dr. Wakefield’s head and know his thoughts, feelings, and beliefs as he was putting together the original report, if it indeed turns out he outright lied about his findings. What do you think that his motivations might have been at the time of the original report BA?

  5. Davidlpf

    Happy happy.
    Joy joy.

  6. Submitted to Digg. This would be great news, but I thought that his work had been debunked a while ago, or was that just because he had a conflict of interest?

    Isn’t that doubly ironic that the very same people who call out Dr. Offit for having a profit motive don’t see the same thing in Wakefield?

  7. I worked with an antivaxer but it was prior to the Wakefield study. His arguments against it were a bit on the nebulous side. The general idea was that healthy kids were perfectly capable of fighting off childhood diseases without the aid of vaccines (despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary) and that those vaccines were more likely to cause disease. Of course, this was the same guy who would routinely bring in “chemical-free” (i.e. rancid) snacks to share.

  8. Bear in mind these are allegations. However, Wakefield’s findings have been under major attack since they came out, with accusations of sloppy research and poorly-presented results. These allegations of outright fakery are new, including, as far as I can tell, the idea that the bowels of the children were not inflamed.

    As I have read, through all of this, after a decade, Wakefield religiously defends what he wrote.

  9. Of course, THEY would tell you that Wakefield faked his results. THEY being the evil pharmaceutical companies trying to convince the world that vaccines are safe to keep selling them. Conspiracies are always invoked whenever some unwelcome news comes out.

  10. Davidlpf

    It will be interesting to see what happens from here.

  11. Davidlpf

    And you know you gonna get will I hava choice to vaccinate my child if I want group and my gut as a mother tells me not to vaccinate.

  12. Davidlpf
  13. Phil Plait, may I refer you to the comment I made in the “UK in trouble? Measles, antivax garbage on the rise” thread (click on my name for the link), regarding the faulty link that you made to this post.

  14. Sili

    This may cause a firestorm in the antivax community

    No it won’t.

  15. Wes

    My guess is that, even if it’s true, the anti-vax crowd will simply suppress the cognitive dissonance, and even continue citing the Wakefield study as if it’s valid evidence. The fact that the study is bunk will be lost down the memory hole.

    Think of all the debunked nonsense that creationists continue to cite uncritically. Even if you sit down and explain step by step why the claim is bunk, that same creationist will cite the same bunk a few days later as if the counterargument had never been made. So long as people are willing to base their beliefs about the world on uncritical, emotion-based thinking, no amount of evidence will affect their beliefs.

    What’s especially frustrating is that there’s no shortage of people willing to exploit emotionalism and uncritical thinking for their own benefit by deliberately concocting sensational bunk. Con artists are the lowest of the low, and if it turns out to be true that Wakefield faked his data, that makes him the worst kind of con artist–the kind who flagrantly toys with people’s health and lives for his own gain.

  16. Brian Deer and others have written about the fact that autistic enterocolitis has no grounding in clinical evidence – it’s been known for some time.

    What about that scary-sounding ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia? Wasn’t this a new, terrifying, malign finding that must mean something? Well, no. It turns out that the swelling of the glands, near the end of the small intestine and close to the appendix is a generally benign finding in children that has been known about for some time. It has nothing to do with inflammatory bowel disease.

    But what about the autistic enterocolitis?…one of Wakefield’s collaborators and co-authors, Walker-Smith, has admitted that most of the children did not show signs of inflammation and that there were no unusual findings in the children’s colons.

  17. I’ve always wonder why Wakefield migrated across the pond and ended up at a clinic here in Texas (Thoughtful House in Austin – he is now the executive director). I wonder if someone could definitively prove that he faked his results whether there could ever be any sanctions. Probably not since the fakery happened in the U.K. and he is now in the U.S.A. That’s probably one of the reasons he came here to begin with. I don’t think this news will have any effect whatsoever on ASA and DAN!. They will carry on as if it never happened.

  18. tresmal

    What gives the Times’ article more credibility are the insanely pro-plaintiff British libel laws. The burden of proof is on the defendant.

  19. dsmccoy

    Why has it taken ten years for someone to compare the data in the paper with the hospital records?

  20. Bystander

    *sniff sniff* I smell population control. If some people are too inconsiderate to protect their own children maybe they should suffer the consequences. Don’t they ever stop to think that they themselves have been vaccinated and are not autistic? Oh wait, lol, that takes a bit of thinking and it’s obvious they are incapable of such a tremendous feat…

  21. Bob Schatz

    Wakefield, whatever.

    My son, our first child, regressed dramatically, really dramatically 2-3 days after several multi dose vaccines at 1 year. Went from advanced typical to a crazy screaming biting feverish, staring into space with unbreakable gaze kid. Either someone clubbed him over the head or it was the shots, and nobody clubbed him.

    We took him back to his doctor, described the behavior for 10 minutes to ped’s nurse and again to ped. His advice, make sure he naps. I have since seen the medical reports, nothing of what we described was in the report from that appointment.

    I don’t care about some Brit doctor. I care about my kids.

    Did we vaccinate our next child? Are you kidding me????

    Our #2 is doing great. It is so bittersweet. Yes I blame the shots. Way Too much of a coincidence. Studies be damned. My story matches so many others. Are we all crazy?

    I love my kids and have to do what I feel is best. That’s what I will do.

    I have a scientific mind but I also realize the complexities and out of control variables in this debate. I have to make a judgement based on a very small sample, my own kids who ultimately rely on me.

    Tell me I’m wrong, I dare you.

    Bob

  22. El Jefe

    Forgive me one and all; the part-time scientist in me thinks that a study size of 12 negates ANY conclusions brought by the author. This brings to mind chiropractic “testimonials” stating that their “treatments” cure organic conditions.
    The size of the “study” should end the debate. There can be no argument.

  23. Bob Schatz: “Either someone clubbed him over the head or it was the shots, and nobody clubbed him.”

    Or there is a third possibility you don’t know about. You can’t pick two things at random, eliminate one, and blame the other. Real life doesn’t work that way. There could be any number of reasons this happened. I’m sorry about your son, I truly am, but the real answer here is that we just don’t know what causes ASD. But we do know that some things don’t cause it, and vaccines fall into that category.

  24. Wes

    Tell me I’m wrong, I dare you.

    You’re wrong, and appeals to emotion do not a logical argument make. The fact that you feel you have to use emotional bullying to make your point shows that you have nothing to support your claims.

    Like anyone else here, I’m sorry to hear about your child’s condition. But the emotional impact of your child’s struggles does not in any way excuse you for spreading around falsehoods about vaccines. Nor does it require the rest of us to sit silently while you endanger other people’s children by spreading falsehoods.

    If you’ve got real evidence that vaccines cause autism, then show it to me. But don’t try to win the argument by manipulating people’s emotions and don’t hide behind your child. I’m getting sick of seeing people use their children’s autism as props to support their own irrational hysteria and paranoia. That is just plain wrong.

  25. MZ

    I can understand the psychological pressure that causes so many parents to want to believe that vaccines cause autism. After all, if it isn’t the vaccines, it could be them. That’s nonsense, of course. Their genetics is out of their control (for a while longer, anyway), but parents tend to blame themselves. The antivax movement gave them an outlet for their emotional turmoil. It was somebody else, the greedy corporate medical industry.

  26. MZ

    El Jefel writes: “Forgive me one and all; the part-time scientist in me thinks that a study size of 12 negates ANY conclusions brought by the author.”

    Then you’ve never done research on human subjects. N of 5 or 7 is pretty good in those studies. Sometimes all you get is one, so you file a case report.

    10 people will be receiving stem cell therapy for spin cord regeneration soon. Are you going to discount the study before it is started?

  27. Sir Eccles

    So whatever did happen to Wakefield’s patent pending alternative MMR vaccines?

  28. Bob Schatz

    I didn’t claim I’m right or have irrefutable evidence. I told you what I believe. Many of you might have different feelings if you had it unfold the way I did before your eyes.

    Of course emotions are at play, do you think I’m not aware of that? Walk in my shoes for a day, yes it is a roller coaster. My story is true however.

    Of course a third, fourth or tenth factor could have been at play. Would you roll the dice with your second child on the heels of my experience? Maybe you would and that is your decision. I decided the odds of a disease were less likely than an adverse vaccine reaction. That’s my right and my call. I understand there is a risk with this decision too. Stop calling me crazy.

    I’m not hiding behind my son or anyone else, thank you, and I’m not out manipulate anyone. I’m sharing my story. I think it’s important.

    “Wes” says I’m spreading falsehoods. Where? I told you what I experienced, so you can stop slandering me now. “Wes” also implies that I am hysterical, no, my son often is, but I’m not. If “Wes” has trouble with a fact I have presented he is welcome to call it out. I don’t think I’ve offered any facts besides my personal experiences.

    “MZ” thinks I need someone to blame. I’d like to know what is to blame of course but mainly so it can be told to the world and avoided. Knowing the cause(s) likely won’t benefit my son. My personal feeling (only that) is that a number of factors must align to create autism’s many flavors. Otherwise we would have figured it out by now.

    I saw what appeared to be a strong cause/effect right before my eyes in a very short period of time. One case proves nothing scientifically, I realize that. It is MY one case however and it was real, vaccines the only obvious factor, and it was a MAJOR nosedive 2 days after roughly 10 concoctions entered a small boy’s veins. Conclusive, no, of course not. Is my story unique among families of autistic children? You know that answer and you should at least ponder it. Again I must ask you, are we all crazy? Is there ANY chance at all something might be happening here?

    How many things once deemed safe have removed from the market. Are you so sure that there is no chance that in a some cases, where genes, environment, and a LARGE blow to a developing immune system could combine to damage a young brain? Do you think it is COMPLETELY impossible? Or just unlikely?

    If you think that the studies are taking ALL the genetic/environmental/vaccine possibilities into account, and there are probably thousands of contributing factors, then go ahead and claim you are all knowing. If you dig a little though you will find many studies are very very narrow and look at only one ingredient at a time, as opposed to the large number of concoctions given to kids now. A number of them are also funded by companies that profit immensely from selling vaccines.

    Bottom line is, I am sane, troubled by your name calling and accusations, and bewildered by your closed mindedness to the possibility that a vaccine or numbers of them may contribunte, not cause neurological issues in very youg, developing minds. Do you really understand all the processes and nuances of how a human brain develops?

    You call me crazy to entertain the thought that vaccines have a role in some cases of autism, I say it’s crazy not to study the entire picture here, including vaccines as one part of the puzzle, and a great puzzle the human mind can be.

    regards,

    Bob

  29. Chris

    Bob Shatz said “Tell me I’m wrong, I dare you.”

    Yes, you are. First the plural of anecdote is not data.

    Second (listen to the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe 5×5 this week on Probability), according to the Laws of Large Numbers it could have been just a coincidence.

    Another thing to listen to is Dr. Ginger Campbell’s BrainScience podcast where she interviews Dr. Paul Offit. He relates a couple of anecdotes, including one where his wife (who is a pediatrician) was preparing to vaccinate a little girl. Just as she was getting the vaccine ready the child had a seizure. If the seizure had occurred ten minutes later it may have been blamed on the vaccine.

    Sorry, I am not including links… but there is enough information for you to find both podcasts.

    Oh, and my son also regressed after his first MMR… but it was actually a couple of weeks later when he had a major seizure while he was very sick with something else. I also had the same disease at the same time. That was not a good way to spend the New Year.

  30. Chris

    Bob Shatz said “Bottom line is, I am sane, troubled by your name calling and accusations, and bewildered by your closed mindedness to the possibility that a vaccine or numbers of them may contribunte, not cause neurological issues in very youg, developing minds.”

    We cross posted, but I looked and I did not see anyone call you names. We did tell you that you were wrong, and I attempted to explain to you why.

    I think it would be better for you to argue your point by using real evidence. Something written in the medical literature, not just what you believe. You are not insane, just not educated well in the laws of statistics, science and medical research.

  31. Mu

    Tell me I’m wrong, I dare you.

    Bob

    Bob, you’re wrong.
    I hope sincerely that someone will have the guts to take your (and all other anti-vaxers) kids away and makes sure that a menace to society like you will never again have the chance to infect my kids with completely avoidable diseases based on ignorance and utter denial of reality.

  32. Bob Schatz

    Chris, I respectfully disagree. If you can point to the causes of autism, and show that vaccines play no role whatsoever then I’l slink away.

    Until then I am of the opinion that all the possibilities should be looked into, by non financially interested parties, and not each one in a vacuum.

    I think it was implied that I was hysterical, or included in a group that was.

    “First the plural of anecdote is not data.” – Sorry, I used neither term, you lost me.

    “laws of large numbers….” Yes, I did acknowledge it could have been other things or a combination of some/many.

    My experience does align with many families of autistic children. To dismiss this out of hand is, frankly, foolish.

    “I think it would be better for you to argue your point by using real evidence. Something written in the medical literature, not just what you believe”.

    My only point is that the debate on the causes of autism is far from over. I don’t think evidence is required for a statement like that. My OPINION is that vaccines should be one part of that debate and research.

    “You are not insane, just not educated well in the laws of statistics, science and medical research.”

    Actually I have a little knowledge in those areas. You would be well advised to consider the many variables before making blanket statements…. Really.

    Are you saying you are 100% certain that vaccines have NO role to play in any cases of Autism?

    Bet your life?

    Bob

  33. Greg in Austin

    Bob Schatz said,

    “Stop calling me crazy.”

    “Bottom line is, I am sane, troubled by your name calling and accusations, and bewildered by your closed mindedness to the possibility that a vaccine or numbers of them may contribunte, not cause neurological issues in very youg, developing minds.”

    and

    “You call me crazy to entertain the thought that vaccines have a role in some cases of autism,”

    I can’t find a post where anyone called you names. If I missed it, please point it out.

    The point others are trying to make is that
    A) You cannot say that your first child may have developed autism at age 1 even without vaccines.
    B) You are endangering the lives of every kid your second child goes to school with.

    8)

  34. Jason

    Bob is the only sane person commenting here. The rest of you are absurd and casing irreperable harm. Short sighted and unthinking voodoo idiots all. The pain and suffering you are contributing to Humanity will be accounted for.

  35. Greg in Austin

    Bob Schatz said,

    “Way Too much of a coincidence. Studies be damned. My story matches so many others. “

    So, real actual medical studies aren’t enough, but 100 stories are? Well, I know someone who has 4 kids, one is autistic and the other 3 are not. All 4 kids were vaccinated. If vaccines cause autism, why don’t all 4 of them have it? What about all the millions of children who are vaccinated and did not develop autism?

    The evidence does not match your claim.

    8)

  36. Bob Schatz

    MU,

    “I hope sincerely that someone will have the guts to take your (and all other anti-vaxers) kids away and makes sure that a menace to society like you will never again have the chance to infect my kids with completely avoidable diseases based on ignorance and utter denial of reality.”

    Nice. Really nice. Maybe my family should be sent to a concentration camp or a colony or something?

    I’ll ask the same question again.

    Are you saying you are 100% certain that vaccines have NO role to play in ANY cases of Autism?

    Bet your life?

    You don’t think you have ever been sold something as completely safe that turned out not to be? Take my son, I do want him back, but take him for a few days if you promise to take good care of him.

    Don’t talk so smart until you really know what you are talking about.

    Closed minded and arrogant, and now taking children away from people. Impressive. What is your title anyway? I can think of a few.

    Bob

  37. Greg in Austin

    My point above should have read,

    “A) You cannot say that your first child would not have developed autism at age 1 even without vaccines.”

    8)

  38. Greg in Austin

    Bob, you contradict yourself here,

    First when questioned about your experience in statistics, science, and medical research you said , “Actually I have a little knowledge in those areas.”

    Then you said, “Don’t talk so smart until you really know what you are talking about.”

    We’re trying to tell you that those with knowledge in statistics, science and medical research HAVE performed studies, and they have found no link between vaccines and autism. So, please, educate yourself a little bit about the subject before criticizing others.

    If you can find a medical study that proves vaccines cause autism, please provide the link or source of any such study.

    8)

  39. Mu, that was uncalled for. It’s one thing to tell Bob he’s wrong, but it’s another to essentially indirectly threaten his family. Don’t do it again.

  40. Bob Schatz

    Greg in Austin Says:
    February 7th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    My point above should have read,

    “A) You cannot say that your first child would not have developed autism at age 1 even without vaccines.”

    —————
    Greg,
    I think I stated in my posts that I can’t pin Tommy’s Autism on vaccines. Not clearly in my first one, but very clearly in followups that I think many factors could be at play. If I was unclear let me state:

    I don’t have, or claim to have proof that vaccines caused my son’s Autism. However:

    I witnessed an amazing transformation that started the day after a round of vaccinations and snowballed after several more days that would have terrified any parent.

    Proof positive, no. Enough for me to call for more research, by parties without financial interest yes. Enough for me to decide that risking my second child’s neurological development to the same fate was not worth it, yes. Acknowledge that that decision carries a risk as well, yes. One hell of a tough decision for me, yes.

    Do I think that decision calls for my children to be removed from my home and care? No, I think that smacks of the world a WWII dictator may have wished for.

    Also, I dismiss all my references to being called “crazy” and change them to being grouped in with those called “Hysterical”. I am neither.

    Bob

  41. mike

    Bob,

    You’re totally wrong.

    What did your kid have for breakfast on the day he changed? Wasn’t that to blame? You or your partner’s cooking must have caused it surely? Or perhaps your kid banged his head the night before and you didn’t notice? Or maybe it was that soap he swallowed when you weren’t looking….?

    You’ll dismiss these. Why? They’re both all likely than the vaccines caused it (but still almost certainly nothing to do with it)

    Why haven’t you blamed your wife’s cooking Bob? Convenient coincidental scapegoat available is why.

    What’s much more likely is that this was always going to happen. This is the result of your sperm & your partner’s egg. It was preordained. Life’s not always good. This is what the evidence shows overwhelmingly. How come Japan, which doesn’t have MMR, has autism rates climbing in the same way as everywhere else?

    You know zero about immunlogy. How do you think immunisation compares with the day of birth when it comes to coming into contact with new substances? Answer: the exposure of vaccination is trivial, almost inconsequential in comparison. All those family members, carrying all those bacteria on breath, skin, clothes, everywhere. All full strength germs, not the much weakened versions in vaccines. You & your witless anti-common sense freaks just don’t have a clue! Stop wasting your energy trying to engage with other witless crazies online and start looking after your kid is my advice.

  42. Folks, while I agree that Bob is wrong, can we not at least show a little sympathy? I also think that antivaxxers are putting kids at risk — I am very clear about that in my posts — I won’t tolerate people being jerks.

    Got it?

  43. Bob Schatz

    Greg in Austin Says:

    So, real actual medical studies aren’t enough, but 100 stories are? Well, I know someone who has 4 kids, one is autistic and the other 3 are not. All 4 kids were vaccinated. If vaccines cause autism, why don’t all 4 of them have it? What about all the millions of children who are vaccinated and did not develop autism?

    The evidence does not match your claim.

    ————————-

    Once again, I am not making a claim, definitively pointing a finger or providing anything more than my experience. Thousands of stories BTW. Evidence no, worthy of a closer look yes.

    I don’t know what happened to your friend, I am glad that the other children are doing well and ask you to offer what you can to them. Autism can be an incredible burden.

    My only take away for those of you who are listening with an open mind is that something is happening to a great number of our children and we must find out what. Where are all the autistic adults? This is a fairly recent phenomena and it must be researched. But it must be researched in the large sense that includes all the factors, and to deny that vaccines are one of them, even if they don’t appear to be a root cause right now, is foolish.

    It is the right thing for our kids and our society. If you only have a heart for numbers the case is still compelling as it will be costly.

    Best wishes to all of you, except MU, who can go start his dictatorship where the sun doesn’t shine.

    Regards,

    Bob

  44. mike

    “I witnessed an amazing transformation that started the day after a round of vaccinations and snowballed after several more days that would have terrified any parent.”

    This is a primitive way of thinking.

    “call for more research, by parties without financial interest”

    Already done, several times. No evidence. You’re wrong. Move on. Anti-vaccinationists are simply people who would previously have believed in UFOs, Bigfoot & Nessie. Don’t hear much of them any more? That’s because they’re all antivax nutters now!

  45. Quiet Desperation

    If vaccines cause autism, why don’t all 4 of them have it?

    Just to play a little devil’s advocate here, I’d suggest because biological sensitivity isn’t a binary thing across the entire species, not even within the same family. I know folks who have a kid with bad allergies, but the kid’s siblings show no signs of anything like that.

  46. Greg in Austin

    @Bob, Phil, and others,

    If I came across as a jerk, I apologize. I did not specifically say I am truly sorry that Bob’s kid has autism like I should have. I was simply trying to keep the emotional part of the equation out of it. And I agree that Mu’s post was over the line.

    What I would love to see is that in the next 20 years, many of the siblings of autistic children focus the intelligence and passion they inherit from their parents to find the causes of, if not the cures to, this any many other diseases and disorders. If all children were taught to think critically, follow the scientific method, and work harder to better educate themselves at an earlier age, then the world would be an even better place.

    8)

  47. Bob Schatz

    mike,

    You are insulting and not reading, or not able to read what I am writing without prejudice.

    I stated repeatedly many things could be at play. To dismiss chemical and biological agents as one of them shows your ignorance.

    Genetics and food intake are possibilities. The overnight change was amazing and not easily explained by a relatively stable diet. Head bonk, yes I have considered that, but I don’t think so. Any blow that would do this kind of damage would have likely caused a screaming baby. MRIs didn’t show anything either.

    How do you claim to know what I know anyway? Have you read my transcripts?

    Do you know what is in a shot besides the dead or weakened germ? It actually reads kind of like the contents of cigarette smoke. Please, since you know so much about it, post it here for all of us to read. I’m dead serious, please post the “other” ingredients.

    For the record I’m now a “freak”

    Bob

    What is your real theory?

  48. Muzz

    Without wishing to be rude about it; We have a fairly recent supposed autism plague phenomena, blamed on particular vaccines which… aren’t a fairly recent phenomena. This is a fairly large problem.
    (I’d love to know more about it too. I think after all that’s happened and all the rumour and innuendo going on, until someone can explain why a given parent thinks the lights went out in their kid (even if it’s one in twenty thousand) this panic is going to keep coming around)

  49. Greg in Austin

    @Quiet Desperation,

    Ah, good analogy. My mother is fiercely allergic. She sneezes when the wind blows. 3 of my siblings also deal with allergies (pet hair, cedar, pollen, etc.) My 4th sibling and I seem unaffected by almost anything the wind blows our way.

    Like autism, there is no link that vaccines cause allergies.

    8)

  50. Bob Schatz

    ” Greg in Austin Says:
    snip

    What I would love to see is that in the next 20 years, many of the siblings of autistic children focus the intelligence and passion they inherit from their parents to find the causes of, if not the cures to, this any many other diseases and disorders. If all children were taught to think critically, follow the scientific method, and work harder to better educate themselves at an earlier age, then the world would be an even better place.”

    ————-

    Thanks Greg, I agree with your last paragraph strongly. I have to add that looking at the whole picture, genes, environment, injections, food, etc is going to be required. If this was a one factor condition I think we would have found it by now.

    Best,
    Bob

  51. amphiox

    Bob Schatz,
    I cannot say that the MMR vaccine is not associated with ANY cases of autism, 100% of the time, because in the real world 100% certainty about anything exists only in the imaginations of fanatics.

    But I can say with confidence that the likelihood of the MMR vaccine having anything at all to do with any form of autism is significantly, by several orders of magnitude, less than the accumulated risk of an adverse outcome associated with contracting measles, mumps, or rubella.

    I would, and have, bet my life on it. I will bet the lives of my future children on it.

    I would also like to point out that you have bet your life on the reverse. Among the populations most at risk from a failure of herd immunity are the adults in frequent contact with unvaccinated children whose own childhood immunity has waned.

    In the case of your second child, that would be you (and your partner).

  52. Becca Stareyes

    Bob, someone else can dig up the studies on this, but the diagnostic criteria for autistic spectrum disorders have changed. My family has a history of autistic spectrum disorders. Yet, only myself and my brother are diagnosed with anything — myself with Asperger’s Syndrome and my brother with high-functioning autism. It’s not because we’re the only ones with symptoms — I’m told I act a lot like several uncles and my father, and I have no doubt it goes back farther than that. If you can get along in society without help, people tend not to notice you. I was only diagnosed because of my little brother, and the rest of the family was only connected as being something with a name, and not just a family of nerds, because of us.

    I’d have to dig up the reference, but there’s also been work done evaluating adults diagnosed with varying disorders, and noting that many that had other classifications would probably be diagnosed with autism today. Labeling things is never cut and dry when dealing with people.

  53. gr8googlymoogly

    Bob Schatz – Please accept my sympathy regarding your child. I can’t even imagine your situation. It is understandable that you might have difficulty being objective.

    The rest of you – maybe you should stop arguing with Bob. Right or wrong (probably wrong), he’s not in the right mindset to be receptive to logic. Would you be if you were in his shoes?

    Phil Plait – Thank you for what you do. You rock!! Keep fighting the good fight.

  54. Bob Schatz

    # mike Says:
    “This is a primitive way of thinking.”

    Walk a mile Mike, walk a mile in my shoes. See what I have seen.

    # mike Says:
    “Anti-vaccinationists are simply people who would previously have believed in UFOs, Bigfoot & Nessie. Don’t hear much of them any more? That’s because they’re all antivax nutters now!”

    Well I do believe intellingent life exists somewhere beyond earth, not sure about under your roof though.

    I’m not anti vaccine BTW. I honestly think there is a reasonable chance it scrambled Tommy’s brain. I am not willing to take that chance on Matthew. His genes came from the same parents, he lives in the same house, and I saw what happened to Tommy. I think vaccines likely played a role. I don’t tell anyone else what to do.

    In fact on the whole I’d agree that vaccines have done a great deal of good overall. I don’t think they are completely free of side effects.

    Bob

  55. Bob Schatz

    # Becca Stareyes Says:

    “Labeling things is never cut and dry when dealing with people.”

    Of course and I agree.

    My gut feeling tells me that genetic disposition is a large factor, maybe the only one in some cases. Another consideration when it came to child #2 with same parents. Decided that with same genes the risk would be increased if an environmental factor was introduced that imapcted child #1.

    Also considered postponing and spreading our the vaccine regimen for him.

    Best,

    Bob

  56. TheBlackCat

    Once again, I am not making a claim, definitively pointing a finger or providing anything more than my experience. Thousands of stories BTW. Evidence no, worthy of a closer look yes.

    What you seem to be missing, dispite the fact that it has been stated several times, is that it HAS received a closer look. It has been looked at extremely closely over and over and over again. There is no link between autism and anything even remotely related to vaccines. Zero, none. Just about every imaginable study has been done be many groups around the world, many not affiliated with pharmaceutical companies. The link just isn’t there. So is it plausible that vaccines cause autism? Well, no, it has been shown that more subtle symptoms of autism turn up well before the vaccines are administered. But even so, the issue has nevertheless been looked at far more thoroughly than it probably deserves simply because so many people are so irrationally devoted to it due solely to basic logical fallacies (post hoc ergo proctor hoc) and despite the massive evidence.

  57. TheBlackCat

    My gut feeling tells me that genetic disposition is a large factor, maybe the only one in some cases. Another consideration when it came to child #2 with same parents. Decided that with same genes the risk would be increased if an environmental factor was introduced that imapcted child #1.

    Yes, genes do play a large role in autism. Vaccines do not.

    Also considered postponing and spreading our the vaccine regimen for him.

    So you consider the inactive ingredients in vaccines to be dangerous, so the best way to fix this is to split single vaccines into multiple vaccines, each with the same dose of other ingredients as a single one of the normal vaccine, and thus substantially increase the dose of the dangerous part. Am I the only one who sees a flaw in this approach?

  58. José

    @Bob Schatz
    How many things once deemed safe have removed from the market.
    A better question is “How many things that have been studied over and over again for specific effects and deemed safe, have later been removed from the market due to those specific effects.” I can’t think of anything.

    You call me crazy to entertain the thought that vaccines have a role in some cases of autism, I say it’s crazy not to study the entire picture here, including vaccines as one part of the puzzle, and a great puzzle the human mind can be.

    It’s not crazy to entertain the thought, but it can be harmful to believe it in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. If my child had started showing symptoms of autism soon after his vaccination, my instinct would be to draw a link between the two as well. That’s a normal human reaction. But to find the truth, you need to look past your individual experience and the similar experiences you might share with other parents, and look at the population as a whole. When you consider the sheer number of children who have been vaccinated and weigh that against the number of children who have suddenly developed autism after being vaccinated, cases like yours become a cruel, meaningless, statistical blip.

  59. Thank you, BlackCat. I admit, I’ve never given much thought to the single vaccine scenario beyond the fact that it leaves children unprotected for too long. It hadn’t occurred to me that it will increase the dose of what else is in the vaccine.

    As for Wakefield, I’m shocked but not surprised. We’ve long since known that he lied about have ethics committee approval, about where he got the children for his study and about how much he received in legal aid fees. Nothing the man says can be taken at face value.

  60. Na

    # TheBlackCat Says:
    February 7th, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    “Well, no, it has been shown that more subtle symptoms of autism turn up well before the vaccines are administered.”

    Can someone explain what those subtle symptoms are and when they appear? (Just curious)

  61. @Bob

    Proof positive, no. Enough for me to call for more research, by parties without financial interest yes. Enough for me to decide that risking my second child’s neurological development to the same fate was not worth it, yes. Acknowledge that that decision carries a risk as well, yes. One hell of a tough decision for me, yes.

    The following is excerpted from a comment on another website by a person named ScienceRocks:

    Hornig M, Briese T, Buie T, Bauman ML, Lauwers G, et al. 2008 Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study. PLoS ONE 3(9): e3140 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003140 (new window)

    From that article:
    Funding: This work was supported by CDC grant U50 CCU522351 to AAP and by National Institutes of Health awards AI57158 (Northeast Biodefense Center-Lipkin), HL083850, and NS47537. Role of Study Sponsors: Members of the funding organization (AAP) and its sponsor (CDC) participated along with experts in virology and neurovirology, autism pathogenesis, and vaccine design and safety; representatives of the autism advocacy community; and study collaborators in an Oversight Committee that reviewed and agreed to all aspects of study design prior to data collection. The final decision to submit for publication was the responsibility of all study collaborators.

    Competing interests: Authors JOL and OS were compensated for expert witness statements concerning MMR vaccine and autism on behalf of claimants in litigation in the United Kingdom.

    Or how about an even newer one:

    Tozzi, A. et al. 2009. Neurophychological performance 10 years after immunization in infancy with Thimerosal-containing vaccines. Pediatrics 123(2):475-482. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-0795. (new window)

    From that paper:
    The study was supported in part by the US Centers for
    Disease Control and Prevention, through contract 2002-
    N-00448 with the Istituto Superiore di Sanita`.

    Or another:
    MMR vaccination and pervasive developmental disorders: a case-control study.
    The Lancet, Volume 364, Issue 9438, 11 September 2004-17 September 2004, Pages 963-969
    Liam Smeeth, Claire Cook, Eric Fombonne, Lisa Heavey, Laura C Rodrigues, Peter G Smith, Andrew J Hall (new window)

    From that paper:
    The study was funded by the UK Medical Research Council. L Smeeth is supported by a Medical Research Council Clinician Scientist Fellowship.

    ================================

    There’s your research by financially disinterested parties. I don’t think it will convince you though. You came here and accused us of being close-minded, but let’s be honest, you have no intention of changing your mind on the matter, no matter how much evidence is piled on. I understand what you believe, but out here- we can’t get inside your head, we work on evidence. You say we should walk in your shoes, we can’t. You can’t and shouldn’t expect us to draw any meaning from that.

    Now the way I see it, you have two options, you can either address those studies or you can PROVE that vaccines cause autism (something which no one has yet done). You can ignore the people who have spent lifetimes researching the disease and trying to find a cure if you want. That is your prerogative.

  62. Jeff Fite

    I’m sorry I’m getting to the game late–I’m an infrequent poster at best.

    I’m going to simply state my experience and position, and let others take of it what they will. Number One Son is autistic, and Number Two Son was the trigger for all manner of consternation in my house. My wife was firmly of the position that a purported association between MMR and autism was sufficient cause to under-vaccinate Son-2. Remember that in 1997-98, the Wakefield study was new and the autism community was abuzz. I, on the other hand, am a medical professional (physician assistant) who administered vaccinations to a dozen kids, every day. I did my best to evaluate the Wakefield study, but at that point in my career, with the information available, I could not refute it well enough to be convincing to myself or my wife. (We considered that Son-2 had a higher risk than the general population, because his brother has autism, and one cousin is schizophrenic–another risk factor.) Son-2 did not get his 15-month MMR, and when he was about to enter kindergarden, he got the separated vaccines.

    He’s just fine, and my wife and I do not regret the compromise we reached at that time.

    Now, however, the evidence is in. Vaccines are not causally linked to autism, and the Wakefield study appears to be graduating from disproven to debunked. I work in an ER, now, so I don’t do a lot of routine vaccinations (but a *lot* of tetanus shots). What I do see are lots of families coming in
    to the ER with un- or under-vaccinated kids, and a sibling with autism.

    I show them pictures of my boys, and we talk a long time about risks and evidence and my personal experience, and then I tell them to go get their kids their shots.

    The emotional component involved in the parental choice we made cannot be understated. I completely understand how Bob’s experience lead to such a fervent belief that is contrary to the evidence. I grieve with him for the child he does not have as I have grieved for the child I did not get. (This does *not* mean we don’t love the children we do have–search for the poem, “Welcome To Holland” and recall “Mr. Holland’s Opus” while you read it.)

    I believe that Bob deserves to be treated with more respect than a few posters have afforded him, and I am encouraged by the fact that he has stuck around long enough to engage in this dialog. That speaks to character. As long as he is willing to consider our arguments, we should keep talking (nicely). And Bob sounds like a smart fellow–we might learn something about life with autism from his experience.

  63. Frank

    Then why did the US Government just agree to settle one with one of the families suing the US Gov’t for their child’s autism being caused by US Government vaccines?

    “After years of insisting there is no evidence to link vaccines with the onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the US government has quietly conceded a vaccine-autism case in the Court of Federal Claims.

    The claim, one of 4,900 autism cases currently pending in Federal “Vaccine Court,” was conceded by US Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler and other Justice Department officials, on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, the “defendant” in all Vaccine Court cases.

    The child’s claim against the government — that mercury-containing vaccines were the cause of her autism — was supposed to be one of three “test cases” for the thimerosal-autism theory currently under consideration by a three-member panel of Special Masters, the presiding justices in Federal Claims Court.

    Keisler wrote that medical personnel at the HHS Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation (DVIC) had reviewed the case and “concluded that compensation is appropriate.”

    The doctors conceded that the child was healthy and developing normally until her 18-month well-baby visit, when she received vaccinations against nine different diseases all at once (two contained thimerosal).

    Days later, the girl began spiraling downward into a cascade of illnesses and setbacks that, within months, presented as symptoms of autism, including: No response to verbal direction; loss of language skills; no eye contact; loss of “relatedness;” insomnia; incessant screaming; arching; and “watching the florescent lights repeatedly during examination.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/government-concedes-vacci_b_88323.html

    Sound like BIG PHARMA has been rattling Rupert Murdoch’s chain again. Need more propaganda to reduce the massive pending legal cost of their big screw-up in using mercury in children’s vaccines

  64. Turner

    Hi Bob:
    I wanted to address an erroneous assumption at work in your comment here.

    You said: If you can point to the causes of autism, and show that vaccines play no role whatsoever then I’l slink away.

    Earlier, you commented that your first child (and please, give the kid whatever he most enjoys once on my behalf: also, ask your spouse out to dinner somewhere you both like and have a wonderful dinner at my behest. Autism is a terribly difficult thing to cope with, and you are, quite honestly, laudable for coping with it over the years) was innoculated with vaccines, while your second wasn’t. Your first demonstrated autism (and again: my sympathies to you and your spouse, and both of your children) while your second didn’t.

    Is it perhaps unwise to assume that the only variable between your first child and your second was vaccination? Is this really oversimplifying the matter? do they look identical, do they demonstrate on every other level that the genetics expressed on both of their parts are the same? If not, it is a bit simplistic of a view to assume that only vaccination could possibly be responsible.

    I really am sorry to hear that your first child is autistic. I wish there were a magic wand I could wave to undo that problem: I’ve known folks with autism and high-functioning Aspergers’ syndrome enough to know that this problem afflicts otherwise-reasonable persons with social handicaps that nobody should have to cope with. It certainly taxes their parents to a degree that is inappropriate, and it certainly is a problem that should get more research than it does, as unlike a lot of things, this starts early, and affects quality of life from the early years on- while coming down with cancer seldom happens before the span one might call ‘late in life’.

    All of that said, I cannot subscribe to the concept that the statement ‘Are you saying you are 100% certain that vaccines have NO role to play in any cases of Autism?

    ‘Bet your life?’ means that one should ignore empirical rules of scientific observation and follow one a priori line of reasoning to its startling conclusion.

    Your first child suffers from autism and was vaccinated. This is lamentable in the extreme- you, your spouse, and your first child all have my sympathy, as a reasoning human being.
    Your second child does not suffer from autism and was not vaccinated. As a reasoning human being, I’m glad to know that he or she does not suffer from autism, but I refuse to assume that there is a causal link involved. There is not enough evidence in a case study comprised of two subjects to suggest- from an empirical viewpoint- a clear-cut causality. The logical fallacy involved here is named the appeal to authority: as you have been through this terribly saddening and unpleasant chain of events, this terribly saddening and unpleasant chain of events renders you an authority regarding how any of the factors attached to it will obviously play out. Take a step back and think, man: can you see any possibility of shooting yourself in the foot in the grounds of reasoned discourse by following this structure of argument?

    I type this as an individual who does not suffer from autism yet was vaccinated in his childhood, by the by. So that makes for one demonstrable exception to the rule that you are supposing exists.

  65. AnthonyK

    The study seems to have moved from disproven, to debunked, to fraudulent. Dr Wakefield’s actions – assuming that the Sunday Times article is true – were criminal, certainly in scientific terms. The harm he has done is, sadly, calculable – the number of children who have caught measles, mumps, and rubella (and any women who might have got rubella in early pregancy = risk of foetal damage) because they went unvaccinated. Even worse, it appears that he did this for financial gain.
    Utterly despicable. I mean look at the “encouragement” he has given Bob in believing that his son’s autism is a result of vaccines.
    If this is true, and I am suspicious of newspapers treatment of science issues even when they accord with my own views, then I hope that Dr Wakefield will be utterly disgraced. The damage he has done will last for many years.

  66. wench

    YES!

    Happy dance! Happy SNOOPY dance, even.

    Cheers, big ears!

  67. Bob,

    I write this as the parent of a child who is diagnosed as High Functioning Autistic (although quite frankly, these days that’s a grab-bag for a whole spectrum of issues) and also a hard-core skeptic and rationalist.

    From that perspective, while I do not agree with your position, I can totally understand it. Human beings are extremely good at associating causes with effects. We do it so well that we often trigger false positives — associate invalid causes with effects we have noticed (in other words, we tend to see lions in the tall grass, because the cost of a false positive (you think there’s a lion, but there isn’t) is low, whereas the cost of a false negative (you don’t think there is a lion, but there is!) can mean you’re the lion’s lunch.

    Because this cause/effect association mechanism is so crucial to keeping you off the lion menu, it’s built in at a very low level in our brains — it’s very emotional, very primal. Your child was vaccinated, and a few days later he got very sick. The emotional weight of that association is huge.

    To counter it, we have science, and evidence, and statistics. These aren’t emotional, they are rational, intellectual, dry. They have no emotional punch, and much as we like to think of ourselves as rational beings, emotions play a huge part in our decision-making processes.

    For most of the participants in this discussion, there is no real emotional component to their decision-making process about vaccinating their children; the intellectual aspects and evidence rules.

    But for you, the decision to vaccinate your second child has a huge emotional cost. If you do it, and your second child subsequently develops autistic symptoms, you and your wife will not be able to live with the guilt. Even when presented with conclusive evidence that there is no correlation between autism and vaccines, you will be thinking to yourself “Maybe there’s some combination of our genes, the vaccine, and some virus he’s already got that causes it.”

    You are then faced with a decision between doing something that, in your mind, might destroy your child’s life (not to mention what it does to you emotionally), and not doing it and accepting the risk, down the road, that he might die, or pass on a serious disease to another person. And we all know that people are not good at evaluating short-term vs. long-term risks and rewards (we tend to apply too high of a discount rate).

    Under such circumstances, I understand your decision. And to the less tolerant posters in this discussion, I would venture to point out that there is a *huge* difference between the decision Bob had to make and the decision a parent who does not have an autistic child is faced with. Your attacks on him serve no purpose other than to make you look like jerks.

    For myself, my (first) son’s autistic symptoms did not really appear until after we started vaccinating our second one, and were not temporally correlated with his shots, so we did not have a big decision to make. In hindsight, I am thankful for that, because it would have put my heart in intolerable conflict with my rational, skeptical mind.

    A few closing points:

    1) I agree with Jeff Fite 100%. Bob, you might consider his approach, or at least talking to him some more.

    2) If Dr. Wakefield deliberately falsified his data for personal gain, it’s not just scientifically criminal, there is a strong chance it could be legally criminal, even criminally negligent homicide.

  68. Bobby

    I just finished writing a paper for my Undergraduate science and technology course about the supposed link between autism and vaccines. Using the vast amount of cases that have disproved the link I came to the conclusion that there is no link. However after I turned it in my science teacher sends me an email saying. “Actually, there is much evidence supporting a link between autism and vaccines. Take a look at “The Evidence of Harm” by Kirby.” I found it somewhat interesting that a science professor believes this.

  69. Al

    The truth is finally coming out, and Kennedy’s “Deadly immunity” was right.

    CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding just came out and admitted that the CDC Vaccine Study Design was “Uninformative and Potentially Misleading”

    tinyurl.com/62hflf

    Here is an article about it:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/cdc-vaccine-study-design_b_108398.html

    On top of that, the government’s witnesses in the defense of mercury in vaccines are bailing
    http://mercury-freedrugs.org/docs/080713_PR_GovDefnseOfHgShakenfnl-b.pdf

    and when you don’t remove 25% of the population in the CDC database, suprise-suprise, one finds a correlation between mercury exposure and autisim.

    http://nhillman.newsvine.com/_news/2008/06/12/1566555-hidden-cdc-data-confirms-vaccine-autism-link

    It is the same old story, money talks. Remember when freon didn’t destroy ozone, and smoking didn’t cause cancer, and there is no such thing as global warming?

  70. Geek Goddess

    I can’t imagine a better set of statistical data than having actual millions of vaccinated children, over decades, all around the world. Autism existed before vaccinations, even if science didn’t know what to call it.

    I have a close friend, born in 1950. She contracted polio at age 2, and spent her life in a wheel chair. She managed to earn BS and MS degrees, and have a fulfilling life, but as her post-polio syndrome progressed, she ended her life as a quadriplegic with amputeed feet, too weak to raise her arms.

    In the 1920s there were an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 cases of diphtheria per year in the United States, causing 13,000 to 15,000 deaths per year. My grandmother’s brother was one of them. The rates of diptheria can now be counted on one hand.

    I didn’t let my sons miss a single vaccination. I also had to let them walk to school on their own, drive a car, and go off to college without me. You can’t protect them from everything. Because vaccination has been so successful, people do not recall the terror that these diseases caused, and how people *expected* to lose some of their children to disease. Anyone who knows anything at all about the scourges of smallpox, measles, polio, or other preventable illnesses is being, in my opinion, an irresponsible parent, and it is our duty to educate people so that they don’t make these poor decisions.

  71. Richard Simons

    Are you saying you are 100% certain that vaccines have NO role to play in any cases of Autism?

    Bet your life?

    It is unreasonable to expect 100% certainty from any medical procedure. However, what you seem to be arguing is that the risk from vaccination (which has never been demonstrated) is greater than the risk, to both your family and the neighbours, caused by not having your child vaccinated. The latter risk has been well documented.

    I can understand that the two events, the vaccination and the development of autism in your child, are indelibly connected in your mind. In your situation I might not want my child to be vaccinated, too. On a more trivial matter, I was once violently ill after eating turkey pie and sweetcorn. In 20 years since I have been unable to eat it. However, I accept that this avoidance is not logical and have never attempted to persuade others to avoid this combination.

    In a similar way, you should accept that refusing vaccination is not supported by the evidence and that it is wrong to attempt to others to avoid the lower risk activity of getting their children vaccinated.

  72. @ the so-called Dr. Wakefield [ Nelson ] Ha Ha [ /Nelson ]

  73. Taken from the NYTimes Obituary of Dr. Gerald L. Geison.

    ”The Private Science of Louis Pasteur,” published in 1995, is noted for its ethical scrutiny of Pasteur, the French chemist known for his vaccines and the development of the bacteria-destruction process that bears his name.

    Dr. Geison, using information from Pasteur’s laboratory notebooks and papers, revealed how Pasteur, in order to avoid embarrassment, secretly incorporated a rival’s findings to make his version of an anthrax vaccine work.

    The book also revealed that Pasteur’s success with the vaccine for rabies, which he hastily developed in the 1880’s, involved much uncertainty and human experimentation.

    Dr. Geison, after finishing his doctorate in 1970, took a professorship at Princeton in the history department. Seven years later he became associate dean of the college and in 1980 he was named director of the school’s history of science department, where he gained a reputation for devoting much of his time to his students.

    The 20 Dictionary of Scientific Biography articles and 40 scholarly essays and book reviews that Dr. Geison wrote during his career earned him many honors and invitations to lecture. He was a visiting historical scholar at the National Library of Medicine and a member of the editorial board of The Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. In 1996, the American Association for the History of Medicine awarded him its annual William H. Welch medal for his book on Pasteur.

  74. isles

    Here’s the kind of case I think of when I encounter somebody like Bob Schatz:

    http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/MILLMAN.DOE012109C.pdf

    Not an autism case, but one where parents tried to get Vaccine Injury Compensation Program money because their daughter started having seizures after DTaP vaccine. Mom swore up and down that this was a huge problem that never happened before the vaccine. Except on looking at the medical records, the court found that while Mom took Daughter to the doctor for every little thing, there was no record of her having made a visit for suspected seizures in the weeks after Daughter got this vaccine, and none of the doctors who had seen the child remembered Mom having said anything about it. The case was dismissed.

    I’m sure Mom was just as convinced of what she thought she remembered as any of the mercury moms/dads are that their kids came down with autism after a vaccine. Pesky thing, the mind’s tendency to jumble up events to match what one later thinks must have happened.

  75. TheBlackCat

    @ Frank: First, that girl didn’t have autism, she had brain inflammation that was almost entirely unlike autism. Second, the government did not admit a link and did not make the decision based on evidence, they simply thought (naively) it would be better to settle than to fight it out in court since it is such a rare case and didn’t have any bearing on the larger autism issue. It seems they didn’t anticipate, although they should have, that the anti-vaccine groups would flat-out lie and say the girl had autism (she didn’t) and that the government admitted a link between vaccines and here condition (they didn’t).

  76. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Is it too early to sum up the thread? If not, the prediction that despite being informed in ever more detail that their position is a belief, the denialists would parade non-factual strawmen around as support is amply verified.

    I would venture to point out that there is a *huge* difference between the decision Bob had to make and the decision a parent who does not have an autistic child is faced with.

    Yes, by your emotional model, or by a bayesian model if there was no evidence either way or if there was evidence for a high risk that vaccines cause autism.

    But the evidence is in, and not only is there a low enough risk but it is non-existent: vaccines doesn’t cause autism. So as a matter of fact, there is no factual difference, ‘only’ an emotional.

    [I guess you could argue, under an emotional model, that a parent that already have a disabled child should be very cautious about causing children irreparable harm, as non-vaccination may do. Alas, understandably, sympathy and understanding for others doesn’t seem to be easily acquired emotions under such circumstances.

    This make me I suspect that emotions have a whole lot of selection and game theory involved in their makings, so a naive (i.e. pure) emotional model is probably not helpful here.]

  77. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Oops!

    Alas, understandably,

    That was supposed to be “understandably under such terrible circumstances”.

    Now it looks, perhaps ironically, like an Asperger (ASD) comment, pure logic – it shouldn’t be. I’m nursing a rare hangover, so I’m in ‘terrible circumstances’ myself and so perhaps low on “sympathy and understanding for others”. Or more plausibly, just not attentive. ;-)

  78. El Jefe

    MZ;
    Yup. 10-12 subjects do not a study make. Case reports, sure.

  79. Wakefield is no scientist. He used the unfounded fears of a group of parents intent on sueing the government and blaming someone…anyone for their children’s autism, to further his floundering career. The whole thing has been a shambles and he ought to feel thoroughly ashamed of himself, as should all those who have stood by him over the past 10 years.

    So much effort has had to go into reassuring people of vaccine safety that could have been better placed in helping autistic people live and thrive with their condition. I hope that finally, there will be no more descriptions of people like my autistic son as “toxic”.

  80. Bob Schatz

    If you found your infant with a bottle of chemicals would you rush to take it away before they swallowed any? Would you let them play with mercury? Give them Formaldehyde?

    Pregnant women should avoid eating certain fish due to mercury, but we still give infants flu shots containing this powerful neurotoxin? What is a safe level of mercury?

    Blackcat, my consideration of spreading out the shots for my #2 is still being pondered. My point is asking should all of these things be in there in the first place?

    http://tinyurl.com/bnx3c3

    Again, I am only raising reasonable questions. Take a look at the links Al provided if you want a quick read. I’m not sure some of you are very good readers though as your self righteousness ignores much of what I have written. I see no need to repeat myself.

    Or look here:
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/7395411/deadly_immunity/

    I’m not advocating, only explaining why I feel like I do. Some of you offered thoughts and good wishes to my son, for that I thank you. Some offered vitriol, well, be assured I wish you no harm. For those of you with no extended family or friends touched by Autism, count your blessings. When you inevitably are however, support them, and then think of me.

    I think I’m done here.

    Anyway, I have two great kids I’m going outside to play with, we have a spring thaw and it’s wonderful.

    Tonight I’m going to hook up with my friends Sasquatch and Elvis and hop on our UFO and take a few laps around the flat earth. We’ll be waving to you…

    Best,

    Bob

  81. Joe

    I’d like to stand up for Bob and present something I’ve noticed that seems to have slipped by Bob. Every child I know of in this situation has been brought home from the doctor visit in a car. I think Bob can clearly see that the ride in the car occurred even closer in time to the child’s symptoms. As Bob points out this observation of close temporal relationship can’t be coincidence and is an “observation of strong cause and effect.” Yes, he’d probably ridden in a car before but he’d been vaccinated before also. I like Bob believe that research money and attention should not be given to finding the real causes of ASD until any temporal relationships noted are disproven again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again. I, like Bob, don’t see any problem with delaying the discovery of real causes so that money can be spent, as it should be, on researching disproven or unsupported or emotional associations that may occur.
    As the founder of the anti-automobile movement in autism theory, many have accused me of callous disregard for future children effected by the disorder merely because I fight to have research money and media attention drawn to my theory over actual facts. I can assure you however that A) I’m a scientific minded guy (like Bob, I think saying that makes me sound more credible) B) I really do care about all the children who will suffer because I pushed my pet theory over actual facts, but not so much that I’ll give up my fight to spend bucks on my theory so I can create the feeling that I’m fighting for someone now. I’m sure those children and their parent’s won’t mind suffering so that I can meet my immediate ego needs. That is just the way of the world. I think that people like blackcat who point out that we are not completely honest in the anti-vax/ anti-auto movement are seriously hindering our ability to meet our ego needs and I can only say, “Please STOP!”
    And besides, wasn’t science wrong once? I think I read that!

  82. NotACat

    For me a part of the original post by Bob Shatz which jumped off the screen was the following paragraph:[quote]We took him back to his doctor, described the behavior for 10 minutes to ped’s nurse and again to ped. His advice, make sure he naps. I have since seen the medical reports, nothing of what we described was in the report from that appointment.[/quote]

    As far as I can see it, the major accusation being levelled at Dr Wakefield is that:[quote]the symptoms Wakefield reports in his research do not match hospital records of the 12 children studied at the time[/quote]

    Since Bob is providing us with first-hand evidence that medical records do not necessarily match reality any more than Dr Wakefield’s records, I think that this is a vital point to investigate. Did Dr Wakefield get his information from interviews rather than simply copying records? Is there an explanation for the discrepancy which doesn’t automatically proclaim him to be a fraudster and a criminal? Does anybody actually care enough to even look?

    I have to say that I came here hoping to see firm evidence which nailed the Wakefield controversy one way or the other. Sadly instead the overwhelming impression is that self-proclaimed scientists (or maybe that should be “science fans” instead?) can be just as opinionated and vicious as the “pseudo-scientists” they revile. Certain posters above should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. A case of “Bad Science” being castigated by “Bad Scientists”? If this is your reaction to a parent of an afflicted child, is it any wonder if they didn’t want to have anything more to do with you? I think Ben deserves credit for staying to ask his questions instead of caving in to the bullying.

  83. “10-12 subjects do not a study make.”

    Well, just not a very statistically significant one.

  84. Cointreau

    Intestinal track? Is that like a lymph nose?

  85. Lazze

    I honestly haven’t read all the posts so forgive me if this has already been pointed out, but isn’t the real problem in the vaccination/autism “link” that most autists are diagnosed as such at the same time of their life as they are being vaccinated? If autism weren’t diagnosed until their teens, there would be no obvious link.

    And just to make sure I’m not misunderstood, I don’t see any link between vaccination and autism, and my son get all he has to.

  86. @Bob Shatz I am so saddened to hear of your child’s deterioration. It is a very difficult travail for many years you are looking at in order to be the best possible advocate for your child. Have courage and best of luck in this exhausting journey you must now travel with your child and family.

    While all published studies are showing no positive link between the vaccines and the onset of autism, I still have difficulties reconciling the number of families I have known through the autism support group (remember I also have a child on the autistic spectrum, non-vaccine induced) whose children deteriorated within days of the 18month vaccination with our current state of research being unable to ferret out what seems to be occurring here.

    If Wakefield is a fraud, he should be revealed. Strident anti-vaccine claims will only panic the public (I personally still believe in the efficacy of vaccines in diminishing or obliterating disease in a population), but having seen so much pain and bewilderment in the parents whose children have had this happen, we can’t just toss it all out. All children are individuals and maybe some are just more susceptible to a shift in the presence of vaccine. Anecdotal or not, the pain is real, and this possibility still deserves another look.

    The truth is, we just don’t know, and for either side to say we absolutely do know one way or the other is missing something. I hope someone will keep looking.

  87. Jen

    The truth is, we just don’t know, and for either side to say we absolutely do know one way or the other is missing something. I hope someone will keep looking.

    Vaccination is linked to autism via Tylenol…look into it. Seriously.

  88. I recommend that everyone read John Scarne’s excellent book “Scarne’s Complete Guide to Gambling”. I’ll quote a portion of that here:

    “On the evening of January 18, 1952, at the Caribe Hilton Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I was thunderstruck to see a woman set a world’s record at the crap table by making 39 consecutive passes. When I came out of my fog, I calculated the lady’s chance of making those 39 passes to be 1 in 956,211,843,725. When we remember that millions and millions of players rolled the African dominoes billions and billions of times in hundreds and hundreds of gambling joints in America during the past fifty years, we realize that 39 passes is not as miraculous as it sounds. And I was thunderstruck, not because this world’s record was established, but because I was on hand to witness it. The odds against that are many times greater.” (p. 24)

    Very improbable events still occur routinely, simply because of the population. When your child starts developing autism after a shot, that is not in any way an indicator of causality. Millions of children get millions of shots every year. The probability of some subset of those children displaying symptoms of autism (or catching a cold, or developing epilepsy, or any other unfortunate circumstance) is actually quite good. It is, in fact, big number 1… a certainty.

    Bob, you’re wrong. But you’re suffering from a commonly held fallacy; you’re assuming that your event has some sort of significance because it happened to you. Winning the lottery is only an astonishingly long odds event for an individual.

  89. Russell

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measles#Complications :

    “Complications with measles are relatively common, ranging from relatively mild and less serious diarrhea, to pneumonia and encephalitis (subacute sclerosing panencephalitis), corneal ulceration leading to corneal scarring[3] Complications are usually more severe amongst adults who catch the virus.

    The fatality rate from measles for otherwise healthy people in developed countries is 3 deaths per thousand cases. [4] In underdeveloped nations with high rates of malnutrition and poor healthcare, fatality rates have been as high as 28%. [4]In immunocompromised patients, the fatality rate is approximately 30 percent.[5]”

    Knowing this, the risk of not vaccinating your child seems worse. Bob, I certainly understand your decision, but I could never agree with it.

    Your plan to consider the spread-out vaccine shots seems a wise compromise to me, if you can’t bring yourself to go with the MMR. In any event, your kids are lucky to have such devoted parents.

  90. Chris

    Jen said “Vaccination is linked to autism via Tylenol…look into it. Seriously.”

    You made the claim, so you provide the actual evidence. Real scientific evidence written up in a real medical journal, not your “I am a nurse and saw it several times” anecdotes. Because as has been repeated several times “The plural of anecdote is not data.”

  91. Chris

    Bob Shatz said ” Are you saying you are 100% certain that vaccines have NO role to play in any cases of Autism?

    Bet your life?”

    Why is it that folks want 100% safety in vaccines, yet are willing to accept the 1 in 1000 chance that getting measles could cause serious complications? These complications in include serious neurological impacts like blindness, deafness, mental retardation, paralysis, and even death.

    By the way, when you add in mumps and rubella the chances of injury go up. For rubella if the mother gets the chances of the baby being injured is very high, plus congenital rubella syndrome is a known cause of autism (along with deafness, blindness, mental retardation, and death of the fetus).

  92. smchris

    Hmmm. Well, yes. That is interesting. But it’s completely different from what I had been reading. First time I’ve heard of “irritated intestinal track syndrome” and vaccinations. I read the Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. report and I had always understood that the concern was mercury in the vaccines. As I remember the logic:

    1. Mercury is a proven severe neurotoxin.
    2. Many substances are regulated based upon their heightened effect on children
    3. Hospitals have taken to giving infants a regimen of several shots at once shortly after birth and this practice corresponds to our current rise in autism.
    4. Also historically, autism was hardly spoken of as disease before WW II and its rise corresponds to the initiation of themisterol preserved vaccinations.

    Who knows? It’s a pretty logical belief system as belief systems go. Could be wrong, but I guess now I’m confused about where this study about “irritated Intestinal systems” fits in and what it proves.

  93. *sigh* Seems like the mercury-militia has infiltrated this thread and have infected it with that terrible Huffington Post piece (that caused me to cancel my subscription) and other anti-vaxx propaganda.

    And these same people make the specious argument plucked out of thin-air about “money talks”, drawing in historical examples because they can’t use real scientific examples.

    Phil is right: Wakefield be damned. His original study was ill-conceived and poorly-executed in the first place, and had a ridiculously small sample size. Governments, scientists and universities, both public and private have investigated this claim to within an inch of its life. But give these ideologues an inch, and they take a mile.

    How much more public funds do you want to waste trying to find an answer that doesn’t exist? What study will it take you to drop your fallacious claim? It is this same claim that is scaring parents from getting their kids vaccinated and we’re seeing outbreaks of the Mumps, Measles and Rubella in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and The United Kingdom. Diseases which are easily preventable, cause needless suffering, and have KNOWN consequences! Thanks to frauds like Wakefield and cheerleaders like McCarthey, many children will develop blindness later in life, or find themselves to be infertile.

    Other children won’t grow up at all.

    The body count is rising, and as much as I hate sounding like a sychophant, Phil (and Orac and Steve Novella) should be applauded for tirelessly writing about this exhausting debate, one which has had a SOLID answer for at least 5 years.

    Earlier people in this thread have resorted to bullying (“Tell me I’m wrong. I dare you”), a degree of active ignorance that can only be described as sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling “blah-blah-blah” (“Studies be damned”) and flat out lying (“The doctors conceded that the child was healthy and developing normally until her 18-month well-baby visit, when she received vaccinations against nine different diseases all at once (two contained thimerosal)”…no, the girl had a terrible degenerative flaw in her mitochondrial DNA).

    Their tactics are clear, and their argument is as thin as their skulls are thick.

  94. tj

    Show me even ONE study where vaccinated children were compared to NON-vaccinated children and NO link towards autism, then I may change my mind. Wakefield may have faked it, but the “fake” studies comparing vaccinated children with other vaccinated children looking for NO link just don’t convince me either. My son’s story and thousands of others just don’t lie.

  95. Matt

    Bob, you are wrong… for bothering to post your experience in here.

    Human behavior is so embarrassing.

  96. Jen

    Chris writes: Jen said “Vaccination is linked to autism via Tylenol…look into it. Seriously.”

    You made the claim, so you provide the actual evidence. Real scientific evidence written up in a real medical journal, not your “I am a nurse and saw it several times” anecdotes. Because as has been repeated several times “The plural of anecdote is not data.”>>>

    I’ve spent months looking into this because one of my autistic sons reacted very badly to tylenol recently. Not going into details, but I KNOW I am right, and I have laboratory data showing the high relative need for glutathione…much like other autistic kids have.

    Just look up “glutathione depletion” and “oxidative stress” Or…better yet try “glutathione depletion and mitochondrial dysfunction.” Hmmm…mitochondrial dysfunction…does that sound familiar? (Hint: Hannah Poling)

    Acetaminophen is a baaaaddd drug…why it’s still even on the market is beyond my comprehension. It’s been linked to asthma for many years, yet no one is discouraging its use…(go to pubmed and type in acetaminophen and asthma, if you don’t want to take my word for it)

    The proof is out there, but only those who are truly interested in finding the truth will find it. You can yammer away that “vaccines don’t cause autism” all you like, but let’s face facts…until someone figures out what DOES cause autism, vaccination rates will continue to plummet, and more children will be permanently disabled.

  97. Jen

    BTW…ask yourself why rates of autism are 10 times higher in the Down Syndrome group…(it has to do with glutathione!)

  98. Chris

    Jen wrote lots of words and presented no evidence. No I am not going to look up a bunch of stuff. If you have research then present it, just post the article title, journal, author and date so it does not get caught in the moderation queue. It needs to real research.

    Also, as noted mitochondrial dysfunction is very real. If you post any research on that, make sure it is not the paper with the child’s father as one of the authors (conflict of interest there).

    Also, the rates of autism are so “high” because the diagnosis changed in the 1990s to include a larger spectrum, see unstrange.com/dsm1.html (read the book “Unstrange Minds” by R.R. Grinker). The rates of Down Syndrome are going down because of pre-natal testing which often results in the abortion of a child with the extra chromosome (surely you knew that, right?).

  99. Chris

    Forgot to continue this sentence: Also, as noted mitochondrial dysfunction is very real … and very RARE!!! It is not autism, and should not be included in any autism discussion.

    Also, the child would have also had the same outcome if she had had any of the actual diseases.

  100. Jen

    No I am not going to look up a bunch of stuff.>>>

    You’re just being lazy. That’s too bad.

  101. Acetaminophen–intriguing…it certainly is bad news for the liver, which is why you shouldn’t consume alcohol with it. However, until there are actual publish studies, I won’t be jumping on any bandwagon wrt autism onset. Whose lab is pursuing this currently?

  102. Jen

    Chris babbles: The rates of Down Syndrome are going down because of pre-natal testing which often results in the abortion of a child with the extra chromosome (surely you knew that, right?).>>>

    What the heck are you even talking about? I said nothing about Down Syndrome rates going down. I was discussing increased rates of autism in the Down’s population. The rates of autism are TEN TIMES higher in the Down’s group. I’m talking about a DUAL DIAGNOSIS of Down Syndrome and autism.

  103. Radwaste

    I have to ask something because I have not seen it in discussion:
    Why not vaccinate after the time autism would present itself?

    This would seem to be reasonable for those who have decided not to vaccinate because of (unfounded) fears.

  104. Chris

    Jen said “The rates of autism are TEN TIMES higher in the Down’s group. ”

    So what?. The rate of schizophrenia is 1 in 100, which is higher than autism. Big deal.

    It has nothing to do with acetaminophen, which is what you still need to provide evidence for. Yes, I am being lazy… but you still made the claim which means you have to provide evidence for it.

    Though there is this list of studies of MMR versus autism:
    http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4026.pdf

    If giving some Tylenol, ibuprofen or aspirin routinely before or after a vaccine actually has an effect (and I doubt it is even done, or even has an effect), then those epidemiological studies would have found something. The did not. So I am not going to bother searching for the evidence you claim exists.

  105. Lazze

    @Radwaste: I’m purely guessing here, but I think it’s to prevent that the children get the diseases you vaccinate against BEFORE you vaccinate them. So, in essence, vaccinationg them as early as possible is the importabt issue. But if the question is to vaccinate late or not to vaccinate at all, then I’d go for vaccinate late, but personally, I follow the general recommendations.

  106. Lazze

    …and sorry about the typos – we REALLY need a preview or better yet, an edit function.

  107. bensmyson

    Was anyone paid to debunk Wakefield?

    Anyone know what, if anything, this has to do with the fact that there is increase in the number of children suffering brain injuries and in a few cases death, immediately after receiving the MMR,MMRV and HepB vaccines? Did Wakefield create this epidemic?

    I never heard of Wakefield prior to my son’s brain swelling up after his ProQuad, MMRV. Am I imaging the GI problems, the loss of speech, all the classical autistic like symptoms that resulted immediately after his vaccines?

    Any idea if these vaccines’ manufacturers are required to mention the possible brain damage or injury as a result of the administration of these vaccines to children? If so, did the FDA require the manufacturer to do so based on Wakefield’s study?

    I’m also curious about if the tobacco industry warned their new customers about the dangers of smoking prior to being forced to do so. Did they ever deny that there was any correlation between lung cancer and tobacco products?

    Any other products placed on the market that caused injury and death … like Vioxx … that were defended by attacking their accusers?

  108. Jen

    If giving some Tylenol, ibuprofen or aspirin routinely before or after a vaccine actually has an effect (and I doubt it is even done, or even has an effect), then those epidemiological studies would have found something. The did not. So I am not going to bother searching for the evidence you claim exists.>>>>

    Kindly direct me to the epidemiological study that factors in the use of antipyretics.

  109. Chris

    bensmyson said “Anyone know what, if anything, this has to do with the fact that there is increase in the number of children suffering brain injuries and in a few cases death, immediately after receiving the MMR,MMRV and HepB vaccines?”

    What increase? Where is it documented that they happened immediately after the vaccines? If you read the articles that are the basis for this blog posting, you will see that some of the children used in Wakefield’s study had already shown signs of autism BEFORE the MMR, and some much later (like months).

    The most likely explanation is that there is greater awareness and an expansion of the diagnostic criteria. There are several papers on that in PubMed:
    Bishop DV, Whitehouse AJ, Watt HJ, Line EA. Autism and diagnostic substitution: evidence from a study of adults with a history of developmental language disorder. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2008 Mar 31

    Chakrabarti S, Fombonne E. Pervasive developmental disorders in preschool children: confirmation of high prevalence. Am J Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;162(6):1133-41.

    Fombonne E. Epidemiology of autistic disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders. J Clin Psychiatry. 2005;66 Suppl 10:3-8.

    Jick H, Kaye JA. Epidemiology and possible causes of autism. Pharmacotherapy. 2003 Dec;23(12):1524-30.

    Rutter M. Incidence of autism spectrum disorders: changes over time and their meaning. Acta Paediatr. 2005 Jan;94(1):2-15.

    Paul T. Shattuck. The Contribution of Diagnostic Substitution to the Growing Administrative Prevalence of Autism in US Special Education. PEDIATRICS Vol. 117 No. 4 April 2006, pp. 1028-1037

    Taylor B. Vaccines and the changing epidemiology of autism. Child Care Health Dev. 2006 Sep;32(5):511-9

    (okay, I confess… I snagged that list from Dr. Novella at http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=454 )

  110. tj says: “My son’s story and thousands of others just don’t lie.”

    Your son’s story, sad as it may be, does not trump ton-of-science. Thousands of stories don’t trump ton-of-science.

    No one is trying to argue that your story is not sad. It is therefore unreasonable and fallacious of you (and the countless others) to try emotional-based tactics that amount to little more than bullying.

    And I think it’s pretty clear that many in the anti-vaccination camp do indeed lie. This is not to suggest that “big pharma” are composed of living saints, and yes, there is a huge financial component to how they run business. But if the link was legit, don’t you think that insurance companies would abandon funding MMR? Don’t you think that the financial risk to pharmaceutical companies of being successfully sued out the wazoo would be too great for them to even produce the vaccine?

    You’re also ignoring the countless scientists who have no financial stake in keeping kids autistic. Seriously, what the crap kind of accusation is that to make of pediatricians and highly educated people who are trained in medical ethics, and devoted their lives to helping people??? No, they’re all just in it for the money. I get it.

    I know an infectious diseases researcher at my university, and he drives a 1993 Mercury Topaz that doesn’t start in the winter. Greedy bastard.

    And you have the nerve to call scientists unscrupulous? You are the ones who are ideologically opposed to vaccinations and have a rising body count attached to it. You stand to gain nothing except a sense of artificially attenuated moral and ideological superiority, and that makes you more dangerous than any profit-seeker.

    I submit that it is YOU who are without scruples. It is YOU who does not care what the facts say or how many studies come out that beat down your specious claims. Every time a new study comes out, you automatically come up with something like “well, look at money! Money makes them do the things that they do!”

    I’m tired of having sympathy for people who shout some of the most egregious and insulting accusations against scientists and journalists whose job it is to look into the truth of things, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Your son’s story is sad, but you are utterly without scruples if you continue to behave as though we don’t appreciate the fight that you, and the other parents of autistic children have to fight. Your attachment to emotionalism makes you most susceptible to comforting thoughts, and you want to lash out at “scientists” as if “science” is a smoke-filled room filled with aristocrats who light their cuban cigars with $1000 bills and dream up more ways to make money, beautiful money. I hate rich people too, but I value honesty and science more than trumped-up accusations based on appeals to emotion, appeals to family, and appeals to “fairness”.

  111. Caroline

    WE are only told what THEY WANT US TO KNOW! THE TRUTH WILL COME OUT IN THE END! ONE DAY!JUST GO WITH YOUR GUT FEELINGS PARENTS! IF THE MMR IS SO SAFE AND TONY BLAIR GAVE IT TO HIS SON, WHY WOULDN’T HE SAY SO?

  112. “TONY BLAIR GAVE IT TO HIS SON, WHY WOULDN’T HE SAY SO?”

    Argument from authority. And he’s not even an authority! He’s a politician….who cares what he does in his personal life?

  113. Sir Eccles

    Questions?

    How many children are tested for the signs of autism BEFORE they are given their shots?

    How likely is it that subtle signs of autism are missed BEFORE they are given their shots?

    How likely is it that parents will only remember the signs of autism AFTER they are given their shots?

  114. AnthonyK

    Come on Jen, MMR…thimerasol…tylenol? What doesn’t give kids autism? No matter how often or how hard we investigate the suggested links with autism they all turn out negative. (But then that’s because the studies are all biased, right?)
    Well, I’ve found something really suspicious. Age of Autism is sponsored by “Lee Silsby compouding pharmacy – the leader in quality compounded medications for autism”. Sounds suspicious to me. Who stands to benefit if kids get autism – why Lee Sibley of course! I mean evidence-based medicine doesn’t have any medication specifically for autism, and the MMR vaccine is out of patent (so anyone can make it, right?) so only Lee Sibley and a few other producers of such remedies – many of which are untested, even dangerous – which the anti-vax community use with mad abandon and great expense.
    I mean, how naive are you? (Suspiciously) Wait – you yourself aren’t –
    Oh….I see…(backs away nervously)
    Yes, I’m sure you 100% right…

  115. Wow, Caroline. That certainly was shrill. Which just accentuates how the folks who are peddling the autism-vaccine link work. In light of a lack of substance, they go for volume.

  116. Jen

    AnthonyK writes: Come on Jen, MMR…thimerasol…tylenol? What doesn’t give kids autism? No matter how often or how hard we investigate the suggested links with autism they all turn out negative.>>>

    Pardon me? Has the tylenol link to autism been investigated? If so, please point me in the right direction, because I must have missed it.

    Doesn’t it seem odd that a drug so commonly used, especially in conjunction with vaccination, hasn’t been considered as a possible autism trigger?

  117. Chris

    Sir Eccles said “How likely is it that subtle signs of autism are missed BEFORE they are given their shots?”

    How would you test for autism before the age of two months?

    And if you read the Sunday Times Online article you will see some of the subjects the lawyer provided for Wakefield had already had notes in their medical records about developmental problems.

    I did look at PubMed and found seven papers with “acetaminophen autism”, but the comment was placed in moderation and has not shown up (though the post I did afterwards with the link has been posted). Needless to say, the two main papers are total crap. One uses Wakefield fraudulent paper, and the other is only a self-selected survey among biased parents in a couple of autism groups.

    By the way Caroline you read the Sunday Times article that shows the MMR timeline, you will see it was introduced in the USA in 1971. That means many of the American parents who are refusing to protect their children from measles, mumps and rubella may have actually had the MMR themselves. Shouting is not going to change that.

    Neither will shouting change the fact that Wakefield lied.

  118. Richard

    “Was anyone paid to debunk Wakefield?”

    Oh my, Cthulhu. WTF?

    Maybe the question should be “Did anyone pay Wakefield to come to his conclusion?”

    I’m not gonna harp on Bob. Though he may not be correct, but he has understandable reason to come to the decision he made for his second child.

    However, those who start bringing up the phrase “Big Pharma” are pretty fair game, as far as I’m concerned. See, that’s because the term “Big Pharma” is a conspiracy theory term used to demonize the pharmaceutical industry. Yes, they have a profit motive, and yes, they have made fatal mistakes before (the use of Thalomide on for morning sickness, Vioxx, and phen-fen, to name a few). But like statistical blips, they’re small compared to the good things they have done. To shame the industry to, say, promote “Alternative Medicine” is shameful. Alt Med (aka, “Pseudo Pharma”) has none of the scrutiny that real medicine has and may be harmful in some cases. But, guess what, Pseudo Pharma also has a profit motive. All of the money, none of the scrutiny.

    I will say this, there is one link between vaccinations and autism that everyone seems to forget: the mercury-based preservative used in vaccines was removed from most vaccines in 1999, the autism diagnosis rate (real or statistical) began to rise after 1999.

    (Also, the use of the term “Big Pharma” makes you look like a raw-veggie-only hippy who takes echinacea pills on the onset of cold symptoms (whether a cold is involved, or not). I’m not saying that you are, it’s just that that image comes to mind.)

    Why don’t we try to pin this on some Pseudo Pharma crap and then we can all go home and get some real work done. Maybe we can pin it on coral pills and have the charlatan who promoted it to get fried. (Yeah, I know, there’s no link there either.)

    More likely it’s a mix of genetics and exposure to environmental chemicals during development (i.e., fetus).

    Lastly. So I’m a science fan expressing my opinion (and snark), but I’m told to shut up because I’m not a scientist. Yet a physician or scientist will say “There is no link” and an anti-vaxxer will still yell, “Shut up,” adding “you ‘Big Pharma’ shill.” Can’t have it both ways, buddy. If we science fans can’t get into the debate, then please tell Jenny McCarthy to shut her yapper. Be consistent.

    Great Old Ones, help us all.

  119. AnthonyK

    Have you considered the “water” link to autism and what about the “air” link? Don’t nearly all autistic kids have “mothers”, aren’t they “kissed”? What about the very real possibility they were put in “diapers”?
    Yeah, we should spend millions on investigating all these things. Now we know it isn’t vaccines that give them autism we should surely have lots of money left over to try eveything else.
    But you still haven’t told me why you aren’t suspicious about Lee Silsby – or is it just because you’re a Silsby shill?

  120. Jen

    Needless to say, the two main papers are total crap.>>>

    Agreed. Parental surveys are hardly scientific evidence. But I didn’t get my information entirely based off of those particular studies. I wanted to know WHY anyone would consider acetaminophen as a possible risk, because at first seemed completely insane. After all Tylenol is just oh so safe! That’s when I came across other articles that discussed glutathione depletion and sulfation deficits in autistic kids, and after seeing my son react horribly to tylenol recently, it all made perfect sense.

    As an aside…did you happen upon any studies at PubMed regarding acetaminophen and asthma? THOSE studies are pretty damning. Damning enough that I think Tylenol should be pulled from the market…or at least sold by prescription only. (JMO) But then…autism rates would decline, and how would anyone explain that?

  121. Jim

    “You know zero about immunlogy. How do you think immunisation compares with the day of birth when it comes to coming into contact with new substances? Answer: the exposure of vaccination is trivial, almost inconsequential in comparison. All those family members, carrying all those bacteria on breath, skin, clothes, everywhere. All full strength germs, not the much weakened versions in vaccines. You & your witless anti-common sense freaks just don’t have a clue! Stop wasting your energy trying to engage with other witless crazies online and start looking after your kid is my advice.”

    Big difference – the day of birth, except for the kids belly button, they are covered in a first line of defense – skin. Secondly, they’ve had their autoimmune systems jump started by their mom- everything mom knows about, so does baby. Third, the immunization is injected directly into the child’s circulatory system, bypassing the above first line of defense. Fourth – hey, if everyone else is getting immunized, then why should you worry? You’ve been immunized, how can you catch it? Right? That is, after all, why you get immunized? Fifth – if everyone else is immunized, how will Bob’s kids get the disease? Are you going to tell me they magically appear out of the aether (I thought that was discredited a while back).

    Anyways – the human body is a hugely complex system – it’s entirely possible (maybe just not likely), that an injection of weakened virii can cause autism – no one can say for sure how every individual will react to an injection. Statistics are not universal truths, they’re just odds you’ll land on black instead of red.

    Not risking your child’s life/health on a gamble is no indication that someone is an unfit parent – quite the opposite, in fact.

  122. Chris

    Jen said “As an aside…did you happen upon any studies at PubMed regarding acetaminophen and asthma? ”

    Is moving goalposts a hobby for you?

    Jim said “Third, the immunization is injected directly into the child’s circulatory system, bypassing the above first line of defense.”

    WRONG!!!

  123. AnthonyK

    I wanted to know WHY anyone would consider vaccines as a possible risk, because at first it seemed completely insane

    There, fixed it for you.
    Welcome to the real world.

  124. Jen

    Jen said “As an aside…did you happen upon any studies at PubMed regarding acetaminophen and asthma? ”

    Is moving goalposts a hobby for you?>>>

    No goalpost moving here. You are aware that glutathione is essential for maintaining the structural function and integrity of the intestinal tract,(as well as the lungs) right? You are also aware that most autistic kids have severe bowel issues, right? I assume you are also aware that acetaminophen depletes glutathione?

    See the connection yet?

  125. Chris

    Jen said “See the connection yet?”

    No, because you have presented no real evidence.

  126. AnthonyK

    I’m burning up here. Must be all the stupid. Y’see even though I thought my education vaccinated me against it an early age, it seems you can catch it from other, unvaccinated people.
    I was going to try Tylenol – for the symptoms – but I’m a bit worried because someone told me it might give me autism.
    Hell, what’s a guy to do?

  127. Jen

    Jen said “See the connection yet?”

    No, because you have presented no real evidence.>>>

    I already told you what to look for and where, but you already indicated that you’re too lazy to do it.

  128. Greg in Austin

    Jen said,

    “Vaccination is linked to autism via Tylenol…look into it. Seriously.”

    Please provide a link to the scientific study that verifies this statement.

    8)

  129. Sir Eccles

    @Chris

    “Sir Eccles said “How likely is it that subtle signs of autism are missed BEFORE they are given their shots?”

    How would you test for autism before the age of two months?”

    Regardless of the fact we are generally discussing MMR given a lot later, what is the difference in diagnosis techniques between:

    day before vaccination
    day after vaccination

    People seem to be very good at diagnosing it a day after, they should be equally good at at least testing for it the day before.

  130. Greg in Austin

    Jen said,

    “As an aside…did you happen upon any studies at PubMed regarding acetaminophen and asthma? THOSE studies are pretty damning.”

    Please provide a link to the scientific study that verifies this statement.

    8)

  131. Greg in Austin

    Jim said,

    “Big difference – the day of birth, except for the kids belly button, they are covered in a first line of defense – skin. Secondly, they’ve had their autoimmune systems jump started by their mom- everything mom knows about, so does baby. Third, the immunization is injected directly into the child’s circulatory system, bypassing the above first line of defense. Fourth – hey, if everyone else is getting immunized, then why should you worry? You’ve been immunized, how can you catch it? Right? That is, after all, why you get immunized? Fifth – if everyone else is immunized, how will Bob’s kids get the disease? Are you going to tell me they magically appear out of the aether (I thought that was discredited a while back).”

    First, How is polio spread? How is measles spread? How exactly would your skin prevent you from catching either of those?

    Second, If the mom is not vaccinated, how does that protect the child?

    Third, See previous questions.

    Fourth, herd immunity only works if the herd is indeed vaccinated. If too many children are not vaccinated, then any child can catch the virus.

    Fifth, same answer.

    8)

  132. Greg in Austin

    First, How is polio spread? How is measles spread? How exactly would your skin prevent you from catching either of those?

    Second, If the mom is not vaccinated, how does that protect the child?

    Third, See previous questions.

    Fourth, herd immunity only works if the herd is indeed vaccinated. If too many children are not vaccinated, then any child can catch the virus.

    Fifth, same answer.

    8)

  133. El Jefe

    Phil, this is getting rather rabid.

  134. Chris

    Sir Eccles said “People seem to be very good at diagnosing it a day after, they should be equally good at at least testing for it the day before.”

    Read the Sunday Times article… several of the children were diagnosed BEFORE the MMR vaccine. Look at the 25 studies listed in the Immunize.org list I provided… there is no link.

    It does not matter if is the day before, the day of, or the day after: there is no real link between the MMR (which has been given in the USA since 1971) and autism. End of story.

    Now Jen… I did look. Nope, don’t see a connection. I don’t see an increase in autism outside of increased diagnostic awareness and changing criteria (see list of papers I posted above). Sorry, you seem to be making it up as you go along.

    And I will continue to say you are making it up until you produce the real evidence in the form of papers in medical journals. But at the moment, it seems that the literature is pointing to a genetic cause (over several gene sites), and then there is that expanding of the diagnostic criteria.

    The science has been done, the link between vaccines and autism does not exist. It is a dead link… “It’s not pinin’! ‘It’s passed on! This link is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-LINK!! ” (hat-tip to Monty Python and the dead parrot sketch)

  135. dre

    [Outrageous Claim!] Look it up!

    Tell me I’m wrong – I dare you!

    I’m serious I WILL CUT YOU.

  136. AnthonyK

    Well I’ve heard that Andrew Wakefield causes measles, mumps and rubella! Studies prove it.
    Shame really; I mean why should a man linked to law companies promoting vaccine-damage claims, and an earlier single-treatment measles vaccine of his own patent have any interest in discrediting general vaccination?
    I can’t think of a single reason.
    It’s the anti-vax crowd I feel sorry for. Not only do they often have the misfortune of having children with developmental disorders, or knowing of someone who does, and blaming themselves because they think vaccination caused it,but their greatest hero should turn out to be a liar, a cheat, a charlatan, and someone who performed un-necessary medical procedures on children.
    My heart goes out to them to be so decieved.

  137. El Jefe

    Dre;
    It’s very obvious that we have some folks here who are hurting; it’s somewhat natural to look for someone or something to blame when your child is hurt and as a parent there is not much you can do. (I have some little experience here). Tending a child that is challenged for a lifetime is a lifelong task, even for a part-time scientist:)
    I know for sure that anti-vaxxers must be met and defeated in detail wherever and whenever they are encountered. The potential loss of life and suffering they would cause is incalculable if we let them prevail. There is no evidence that vaccinations of any stripe cause autism; there is plenty of evidence that lack of vaccination causes death.
    Jen; I’d like to see some real studies with appropriate sample sizes. Otherwise, it’s all vitriol.
    And Dre, before you ask, I’m a Marine.

  138. I think he should of studied more than 12 children. I think that it is a combination of factors. My son showed symptoms before his shots, but, they got worse after and even worse after a febrel seizure.

  139. I’ve done another round-up post — who is saying what about the Deer articles on Wakefield in the London Times. I’ve included this post.

    11 years on, Wakefield Manufactured Data showing MMR-Autism Link?

    It’s the anti-vax crowd I feel sorry for. Not only do they often have the misfortune of having children with developmental disorders, or knowing of someone who does, and blaming themselves because they think vaccination caused it,but their greatest hero should turn out to be a liar, a cheat, a charlatan, and someone who performed un-necessary medical procedures on children.
    My heart goes out to them to be so decieved.

    My heart goes out to the parents of children with autism who believe their children are “vaccine injured.”

    My heart is hardened toward folks who are in a different situation — who are making a living from selling “cures” and “treatments” for “vaccine injury”.

    Wakefield is in the latter class.

  140. Grizzly

    You want another plural of anecdote = data posting?

    I have twins. Both vaccinated, one has Asperger Syndrome, on the Autism Spectrum. Figure that one out.

    It wasn’t the vaccination people. While I do have a healthy (pun intended) skepticism for Big Pharma, vaccinations are not the cause here.

  141. Greg in Austin

    Wait, so exactly which products are sold by Big Pharma? I keep hearing that phrase, and it sounds bad, so I’d like to know which products to avoid. Is ibuprofen sold by Big Pharma? What about that nighttime cold medicine for flu-like symptoms? When I had my surgery, and needed antibiotics and pain killers, should I have shopped around to make sure the drugs I bought were not made by Big Pharma?

    I sure hope Big Pharma doesn’t make the medicine my sister takes for diabetes, ’cause she really needs that. I also hope the medicines my mother takes after having her knees replaced aren’t made by Big Pharma either.

    8)

  142. Actually, Greg, a lot of these people believe that for your headache, you should rub a stick of wax (not gonna actually mention the product, but I’m sure everyone knows what it is. Cursed viral marketing!) on your forehead instead of that nasty, evil Ibuprofen. Make sure you take your Eccenacia for your cold and whatever the homeopaths/herbalists are peddling for infections and pain.

    For your sister’s diabetes, I’m sure chelation would be the prescription to remove the “toxins” from her blood. And those replacement knees? I dunno…maybe superballs? Acupuncture? Yoga? :D

    That’s just the thing. Many of the anti-vax cheerleaders subscribe to this stuff because of the evil “Big Pharma” that’s only around to suck their pockets dry. I’m sure the makers of HeadOn aren’t in it for the money and have only altruistic motives.

  143. Sisi

    During the first two years of my life, I experienced both a “mysterious” tropical fever, and multiple simultaneous vaccinations required by travel to the tropics. I was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age seven, after which I had another set of vaccinations, which caused me to pass out briefly. My sister, who had all of the same vaccinations as I did, does not have Asperger’s; she has depression like the other side of the family. My aunt, born in the third world in the 20’s and un-vaccinated until after WW II, has Asperger’s. A distant cousin born in the late 19th century spent most of his life as a shut-in because his autism made him unable to appear in public. My great-great grandfather was a math prodigy and classic Cambridge eccentric. IMHO, I inherited the Asperger’s from my mother, just as my sister inherited the depression from our father, and my husband inherited Type 1 diabetes from his father. The only thing I got from the vaccinations was a neurotic fear of needles that took me years to get over.

  144. DLC

    Phil : good post. interesting but unfortunately futile discussion. I fear that even were Wakefield to get on every Satellite/Cable news channel and say “I admit it, I was so far off the beam I’d have to walk a mile or two just to get to being wrong” that it would not operate to change the opinion of the “Vaccines Did It” crowd one iota.
    To them, the science doesn’t matter.

  145. José

    Wait, so exactly which products are sold by Big Pharma? I keep hearing that phrase, and it sounds bad, so I’d like to know which products to avoid.

    Big Pharma is actually a division of the “they” corporation. You can’t avoid their products.

  146. Chris

    AnthonyK said “It’s the anti-vax crowd I feel sorry for. Not only do they often have the misfortune of having children with developmental disorders,”

    Well the biggest issue is that many of these people are too focused on the vaccine issue, they have neglected the real issues. These issues include actually funding special education, providing for qualified therapists and transition from school to work.

    The idiots pushing the “vaccine caused my kid’s autism” gambit hoping for some kind of financial windfall are failing the rest of us with older kids, and other kids with other disabilities (cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, etc) who need the resources they are sucking up with their fruitless effort to make “the gub’mnt pay!”.

    By the way, my son is an adult. His seizures started before any vaccine (or administration of acetaminophen…though he did get anticonvulsants as an infant to control his seizures), and he has actually had some of the actual diseases before the vaccine for them was available as he grew up. One of those diseases caused him to have more seizures. He is still disabled, even though he got fewer vaccines than children born a few years after him.

  147. Damian

    As Orac pointed outin his post about this:

    “This is an incredibly common story among parents who believe that vaccines caused their child’s autism. Many vaccines are scheduled to be given during the same time that children often show the first behavioral alterations associated with autism, and it is not uncommon either for such changes to occur within a few weeks of a vaccination by random chance alone, nor is it uncommon for parents to remember incorrectly that the child’s symptoms started soon after a vaccine when they did not. Indeed, it is not uncommon at all for experts to be able to detect the subtler signs of autism on videotapes of babies before the parents noticed and before the child received the vaccinations for which parents blame the condition. Unfortunately, human memory is fallable, and it easily relates events that are not closely related, particularly in response to other information or preexisting beliefs. This happens all the time with vaccines and autism, where numerous epidemiological studies have failed to find an association between either mercury in thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism, between MMR and autism, and between vaccines in general and autism.”

    It’s understandable, of course, and for the parents who show a genuine interest in discovering the truth, we should be patient and kind. But make no mistake, there are many people who are not interested in understanding anything, and I sympathize with those who lose patience in that situation.

    It’s difficult not to feel utter contempt for people who, for whatever reason, are prepared to put the lives of innocent children in danger — and particularly those who haven’t experienced the trauma of discovering that their children have been diagnosed with autism. The research is available online — you only have to go to google scholar and type in, “autism MMR” — and many of the papers are free to download, as well.

    If you won’t look at the research, and yet you still insist on telling people that vaccines are harmful, it’s obvious that you were never interested in finding the real cause of autism in the first place.

  148. Jason

    Ask yourself which is more likely:

    All of the physicians doing the >12 epidemiological studies exonerating MMR vaccinations as the cause of autism, your physicians, Phil Plait, Chris, and all of the others on here who have objectively examined the results of these studies, simply don’t care and spitefully want your children to get autism.

    -or-

    They actually DO care for your and other people’s children, and are thus literally begging you to take the time to understand that you are making a decision based on faulty reasoning (post hoc ergo propter hoc), and therefore putting your unvaccinated children, and those of others, at even greater risk.

  149. Joseph

    “What gives the Times’ article more credibility are the insanely pro-plaintiff British libel laws. ”

    Exactly. Keep in mind also that Brian Deer was sued by Wakefield once before, and prevailed. That time, Brian Deer was able to prove that Wakefield was paid close to a million dollars by vaccine injury lawyers in order to do his study, and failed to disclose this major conflict of interest.

  150. Penny Mellor

    Sadly, this isn’t the only case of massive research fraud in the UK. Taking autism and mmr out of the equation, what you are actually left with is opportunism and a money making scam – call a spade a spade, Wakefield et are are good old fashioned con men, whose actions are now causing harm to come to children worldwide. Parents wanted answers, they provided them, sometimes there are no answers and sometimes as humans, we have to accept that.

  151. Sir Eccles

    @Chris

    Sorry, didn’t realize you were actually agreeing with me.

  152. Daffy

    I am not suggesting that Autism does not exist, BUT…has anyone else noticed that as the ADD hysteria has subsided, it has been replaced by Autism hysteria?

    My (probably rhetorical) question is: how many (as with ADD) kids are really Autistic, and how many are just individuals who don’t land in the coveted exact center of the bell curve for behavior?

    I do know a LOT of kids (including my stepson) were prescribed Ritalin for no better reason than they were a little different from the “norm.”

    Back on topic, I can see no credible evidence that vaccines cause Autism, even when it really exists.

  153. Jen

    You want another plural of anecdote = data posting?

    I have twins. Both vaccinated, one has Asperger Syndrome, on the Autism Spectrum. Figure that one out.>>>>

    Here’s some more anecdote… my youngest child is autistic…and unvaccinated.

    It wasn’t the vaccination people. While I do have a healthy (pun intended) skepticism for Big Pharma, vaccinations are not the cause here.>>>>

    You’re absolutely right. If vaccinations were the cause of autism, then someone will have to explain why my youngest son is autistic even though he never received any vaccines. (As an aside…he also had asthma as a baby and toddler, but seems to have outgrown it with age.)

    Hey, lookee here…

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18814450?ordinalpos=7&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    Prenatal exposure to acetaminophen and respiratory symptoms in the first year of life.Persky V, Piorkowski J, Hernandez E, Chavez N, Wagner-Cassanova C, Vergara C, Pelzel D, Enriquez R, Gutierrez S, Busso A.
    Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Illinois, Chicago School of Public Health, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA. vwpersky@uic.edu

    BACKGROUND: Prevalence of asthma in developed countries increased between the 1970s and the 1990s. One factor that might contribute to the trends in asthma is the increased use of acetaminophen vs aspirin in children and pregnant women. OBJECTIVE: To examine relationships between in utero exposure to acetaminophen and incidence of respiratory symptoms in the first year of life. METHODS: A total of 345 women were recruited in the first trimester of pregnancy and followed up with their children through the first year of life. Use of acetaminophen in pregnancy was determined by questionnaire and related to incidence of respiratory symptoms. RESULTS: Use of acetaminophen in middle to late but not early pregnancy was significantly related to wheezing (odd ratio, 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-3.0) and to wheezing that disturbed sleep (odds ratio, 2.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-3.8) in the first year of life after control for potential confounders. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that use of acetaminophen in middle to late but not early pregnancy may be related to respiratory symptoms in the first year of life. Additional follow-up will examine relationships of maternal and early childhood use of acetaminophen with incidence of asthma at ages 3 to 5 years, when asthma diagnosis is more firmly established.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18805332?ordinalpos=8&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    Association between paracetamol use in infancy and childhood, and risk of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema in children aged 6-7 years: analysis from Phase Three of the ISAAC programme.Beasley R, Clayton T, Crane J, von Mutius E, Lai CK, Montefort S, Stewart A; ISAAC Phase Three Study Group.
    Collaborators (96)

    Aït-Khaled N, Anderson HR, Asher MI, Björkstén B, Brunekreef B, Crane J, Ellwood P, García-Marcos L, Foliaki S, Keil U, Lai CK, Mallol J, Robertson CF, Mitchell EA, Odhiambo J, Pearce N, Shah J, Stewart AW, Strachan D, Weiland SK, Weinmayr G, Williams H, Wong G, Asher MI, Clayton TO, Ellwood P, Mitchell EA, Howitt ME, Weyler J, de Freitas Souza L, Rennie D, Amarales L, Aguilar P, Cepeda AM, Aristizábal G, Ordoñez GA, Riikjärv MA, Zsigmond G, Rego S, Suresh Babu PS, Singh V, Jain KC, Sukumaran TU, Awasthi S, Joshi MK, Pherwani AV, Mantri SN, Salvi S, Sharma SK, Hanumante NM, Bhave S, Kartasasmita CB, Masjedi MR, Steriu A, Odajima H, Imanalieva C, Kudzyte J, Teh KH, Quah BS, Del-Río-Navarro BE, Barragán-Meijueiro M, García-Almaraz R, Baeza-Bacab M, Merida-Palacio JV, González-Díaz SN, Linares-Zapién FJ, Romero-Tapia S, Asher MI, Moyes C, Pattemore P, MacKay R, Onadeko BO, Cukier G, Lis G, Brêborowicz A, Câmara R, Rosado Pinto JE, Nunes C, Lopes dos Santos JM, Goh DY, Lee HB, López-Silvarrey Varela A, Carvajal-Urueña I, Busquets RM, González Díaz C, García-Marcos L, Garcia-Hernández G, Suárez-Varela MM, Al-Rawas O, Mohammad Y, Huang JL, Kao CC, Vichyanond P, Trakultivakorn M, Lapides MC, Aldrey O.

    Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.

    BACKGROUND: Exposure to paracetamol during intrauterine life, childhood, and adult life may increase the risk of developing asthma. We studied 6-7-year-old children from Phase Three of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) programme to investigate the association between paracetamol consumption and asthma. METHODS: As part of Phase Three of ISAAC, parents or guardians of children aged 6-7 years completed written questionnaires about symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema, and several risk factors, including the use of paracetamol for fever in the child’s first year of life and the frequency of paracetamol use in the past 12 months. The primary outcome variable was the odds ratio (OR) of asthma symptoms in these children associated with the use of paracetamol for fever in the first year of life, as calculated by logistic regression. FINDINGS: 205 487 children aged 6-7 years from 73 centres in 31 countries were included in the analysis. In the multivariate analyses, use of paracetamol for fever in the first year of life was associated with an increased risk of asthma symptoms when aged 6-7 years (OR 1.46 [95% CI 1.36-1.56]). Current use of paracetamol was associated with a dose-dependent increased risk of asthma symptoms (1.61 [1.46-1.77] and 3.23 [2.91-3.60] for medium and high use vs no use, respectively). Use of paracetamol was similarly associated with the risk of severe asthma symptoms, with population-attributable risks between 22% and 38%. Paracetamol use, both in the first year of life and in children aged 6-7 years, was also associated with an increased risk of symptoms of rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema. INTERPRETATION: Use of paracetamol in the first year of life and in later childhood, is associated with risk of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema at age 6 to 7 years. We suggest that exposure to paracetamol might be a risk factor for the development of asthma in childhood.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18579547?ordinalpos=10&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    The relation between paracetamol use and asthma: a GA2LEN European case-control study.Shaheen S, Potts J, Gnatiuc L, Makowska J, Kowalski ML, Joos G, van Zele T, van Durme Y, De Rudder I, Wöhrl S, Godnic-Cvar J, Skadhauge L, Thomsen G, Zuberbier T, Bergmann KC, Heinzerling L, Gjomarkaj M, Bruno A, Pace E, Bonini S, Fokkens W, Weersink EJ, Loureiro C, Todo-Bom A, Villanueva CM, Sanjuas C, Zock JP, Janson C, Burney P; Selenium and Asthma Research Integration project; GA2LEN.
    Collaborators (36)

    Burney P, Phillips J, Potts J, Gnatiuc L, Shaheen S, Joos G, Van Cauwenberge P, van Zele T, Verbruggen K, van Durme Y, De Rudder I, Wöhrl S, Godnic-Cvar J, Salameh B, Skadhauge L, Thomsen G, Zuberbier T, Bergmann KC, Heinzerling L, Gjomarkaj M, Bruno A, Pace E, Bonini S, Bresciani M, Gramiccioni C, Fokkens W, Weersink EJ, Makowska J, Kowalski ML, Loureiro C, Todo-Bom A, Villanueva CM, Sanjuas C, Zock JP, Lundback B, Janson C.

    National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, Emmanuel Kaye Building, Manresa Road, London SW3 6LR, UK. s.shaheen@imperial.ac.uk

    Studies from the UK and USA suggest that frequent use of paracetamol (acetaminophen) may increase the risk of asthma, but data across Europe are lacking. As part of a multicentric case-control study organised by the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA(2)LEN), it was examined whether or not frequent paracetamol use is associated with adult asthma across Europe. The network compared 521 cases with a diagnosis of asthma and reporting of asthma symptoms within the last 12 months with 507 controls with no diagnosis of asthma and no asthmatic symptoms within the last 12 months across 12 European centres. All cases and controls were selected from the same population, defined by age (20-45 yrs) and place of residence. In a random effects meta-analysis, weekly use of paracetamol, compared with less frequent use, was strongly positively associated with asthma after controlling for confounders. There was no evidence for heterogeneity across centres. No association was seen between use of other analgesics and asthma. These data add to the increasing and consistent epidemiological evidence implicating frequent paracetamol use in asthma in diverse populations.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18564631?ordinalpos=11&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    Study of the relationship between acetaminophen and asthma in Mexican children aged 6 to 7 years in 3 Mexican cities using ISAAC methodology.Del-Rio-Navarro BE, Ito-Tsuchiya FM, Berber A, Zepeda-Ortega B, Sienra-Monge JJ, Garcia-Almaraz R, Baeza-Bacab M.
    Hospital Infantil de Mexico Federico Gomez, Mexico City, Mexico.

    OBJECTIVE: To establish the relationship between the use of acetaminophen and the frequency of asthma in Mexican children in 3 Mexican cities. METHODS: Ours was a multicenter, observational, descriptive, cross-sectional study. Patients from 6 to 7 years of age participating in Phase Three B of the ISAAC (International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children) living in the north of Mexico City, Victoria City, and Merida were included. After adjusting for confounders, we calculated the odds ratios (OR) for the presence of wheezing ever, wheezing in the last 12 months, asthma ever, and the use of acetaminophen in the first year of life and during the last 12 months. RESULTS: The ORs for wheezing ever, wheezing in the last year, and asthma ever with respect to use of acetaminophen in the first year of life were not statistically significant (P > .05) in Mexico City, but they were significant in Victoria City (P < .05) and Merida (P < .05). The ORs (95% confidence intervals) for wheezing ever, wheezing in the last year, and asthma ever with respect to use of acetaminophen in the last year were 3.44 (2.96-4.0), 7.97 (5.89-10.78), and 6.10 (3.30-8.81) (P < .05) in Mexico City. Values forVictoria City were 1.36 (1.13-1.63), 3.80 (2.88-5.05), and 2.18(1.57-3.01) (P < .05). Those for Merida were 1.61 (1.40-1.85), 2.07 (1.73-2.48), and 1.53 (1.29-1.82) (P < .05). CONCLUSION: The use of acetaminophen is associated with the presence of wheezing and asthma in 3 different cities in Mexico.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17237578?ordinalpos=27&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    Acetaminophen use and the symptoms of asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema in children.Karimi M, Mirzaei M, Ahmadieh MH.
    Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Shahid Sadoughi University Of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Yazd, Iran. mehrankarimi1@hotmail.com

    Allergic diseases are frequent in children and their prevalence and severity differ in the different regions of the world. A number of studies have been performed to determine the factors which are effective in the incidence of these diseases. One of the drugs that might have a role in incidence or intensity of the symptoms of allergic diseases is Acetaminophen. In our survey conducted with standardized method (International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood), 3000 children 6-7 years old and 3000 teenagers 13-14 years old were questioned regarding asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema. The prevalence of ever wheezing in the children of 6-7 years old who took acetaminophen in the first year of their life was 11.3%, which is more than other group (Odds Ratio=1.54, 95% Confidence Interval: 1-2.38, P=0.049) and the prevalence of ever wheezing in older age group who have taken acetaminophen at least once in a month was 25.1% which is more than those taken less acetaminophen (OR=1.7, 95%CI=1.43-2.04, P=0.000). Moreover taking more acetaminophen during past 12 months led to more prevalence of night dry coughs and the symptoms of rhinitis in children 6-7 years old and eczema and rhinitis symptoms in the 13-14 years old. Our findings suggest that taking more acetaminophen may be associated with increasing allergic symptoms in children.

    How many more friggin studies do we NEED? This stuff should not be given to babies.

    Oh…look what else I found…

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17654772?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    Simultaneous sudden infant death syndrome.Balci Y, Tok M, Kocaturk BK, Yenilmez C, Yirulmaz C.
    Department of Forensic Medicine, Medical Faculty, Osmangazi University, Eskişehir, Turkey. ybalci@ogu.edu.tr

    The simultaneous sudden deaths of twins rarely occur and therefore it has received limited attention in the medical literature. When the deaths of the twins meet the defined criteria for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) independently and take place within the same 24 h range it can be called as simultaneous SIDS (SSIDS). The case(s): Twin girls (3.5-month-old) were found dead by their mother in their crib, both in supine position. The infants were identical twins and delivered at a hospital by cesarean section. Both infants were healthy and did not have any serious medical history. Two days prior to the incident, the twins had received the second dose of oral polio, DPT and the first dose of hepatitis B vaccines and they had fever on the first day of the vaccination and been given teaspoonful of acetaminophen. Death scene investigation, judicial investigation, parental assessment, macroscopic and microscopic autopsy findings and the toxicological analysis did not yield any specific cause of death. The case(s) were referred to a supreme board composed of multidisciplinary medical professionals at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Ministry of Justice, in Istanbul. The Board decided that the available data was consistent with SIDS. These SIDS case(s) are presented because twin SIDS are rare and this is the first time that a simultaneous twin SIDS have been reported in Turkey. Simultaneous SIDS cases have many implications regarding definition, diagnosis and medico-legal approach.

    Geez…these babies were given a TEASPOON of acetaminophen???!!! A TEASPOON of acetaminophen is an OVERDOSE! DUH! They still ruled it as SIDS? GMAB

    Anyone still think acetaminophen is a good thing to give to babies? Or shall I post some more evidence?

  154. Kate

    Bob,

    I am sorry your child is ill. I’m sure it has caused you great pain.

    I, too, have experience with a child with autism. I don’t, however, insult, berate, and challenge people who are trying to bring the science on that subject to light.

    Whatever your mindset, you came here for a fight. You ASKED for it. So you don’t have my sympathies in regards to your experience here. You brought it on yourself and you got what you deserved.

    Please remember that anecdotes and “feelings” have no place in science. Your “thoughts” count for next to nothing when it comes to the science of autism spectrum disorders.

    Go hug your child, tell them you love them, and get to know them the way they are, instead of spending all this time blaming everyone and everything. you might just find all that anger lessening as you begin a wonderful journey of discovery and self-discovery.

    Good luck to you and your family.

  155. Sir Eccles

    @Daffy, I suspect in previous times they would have been labeled a “troublemaker” or “disruptive”, “they’ll grow out of it”, “it’s just a phase”, “boys will be boys” etc.

  156. Zar

    There are a lot of (genuinely tragic) autism anecdotes here among the anti-vaxxers.

    You know a type of anecdotes we’re not seeing?

    Anecdotes about a child losing his hearing, sight or intelligence because of the mumps.

    Anecdotes about a child having irreparable damage to his lungs from Whooping Cough.

    Anecdotes about a mother having a miscarriage because of contracting measles during the pregnancy.

    We’re spoiled. We all grew up in a time in which parents could reasonably expect to see all their kids grow up. A time when no one sees a person killed or mangled by polio.

    I just hope we’ll wise up before the tragic measles/mumps/rubella anecdotes become more common than the autism ones.

  157. So what if this study was faked. There is still all the other evidence showing the danger of vaccines, and the anecdotal evidence. Just no that I pray that if this causes people who had been skeptical to go out and vaccinate their children, I pray that any diseases that may have come on the children would come back on anyone who had a part in uncovering and releasing the news of this fake study and any media people that would encourage people to get their children vaccinated after telling them about this story.

  158. ndt

    Bob Schatz Says:
    February 7th, 2009 at 7:42 pm
    Wakefield, whatever.

    My son, our first child, regressed dramatically, really dramatically 2-3 days after several multi dose vaccines at 1 year. Went from advanced typical to a crazy screaming biting feverish, staring into space with unbreakable gaze kid. Either someone clubbed him over the head or it was the shots, and nobody clubbed him.

    Are those really the only two possibilities?

    Tell me I’m wrong, I dare you.

    You’re wrong.

  159. ndt

    Bob Schatz Says:
    February 7th, 2009 at 9:51 pm
    Chris, I respectfully disagree. If you can point to the causes of autism, and show that vaccines play no role whatsoever then I’ll slink away.

    Until then I am of the opinion that all the possibilities should be looked into, by non financially interested parties, and not each one in a vacuum.

    They have been looked at – for ten years. Vaccines were specifically studied, and no correlation whatsoever was found.

    My experience does align with many families of autistic children. To dismiss this out of hand is, frankly, foolish.

    It hasn’t been dismissed out of hand. It’s been dismissed after ten years of study.

    My only point is that the debate on the causes of autism is far from over.

    The gene or genes that cause it haven’t been found, but the evidence is pretty strong that it’s a genetic illness.

    Are you saying you are 100% certain that vaccines have NO role to play in any cases of Autism?

    Bet your life?

    Bob

    Yes. Absolutely, 100%.

  160. ndt

    José Says:
    February 7th, 2009 at 11:59 pm
    @Bob Schatz
    How many things once deemed safe have removed from the market.
    A better question is “How many things that have been studied over and over again for specific effects and deemed safe, have later been removed from the market due to those specific effects.” I can’t think of anything.

    I can think of one, silicone breast implants. Since you asked.

  161. Sadine Tebbal

    Bob Schatz, there are thousands of parents like you and me who rightly believe that vaccines cause autism. We have enough “clinical proof” as compared to all the so called “scientific epidemiological studies” that denies the link. You see, we were hit once and that is why we learned our lesson about following blindly the heard believing in the medical system. I guess they wont learn until they get hit also.

    Dr Wakefield is like Galileo . The latter published his support to the Sun-centered theory of the universe (Earth rotate around the sun as opposed to the view at that time that the sun rotated around the earth). In 1614, his research was denounced as dangerous and close to heresy. In 1616, he was ordered to appear before the Holy Office in Rome. He was found vehemently suspect of heresy and was placed under house arrest.
    The medical system is behaving exactly like the Roman Inquisition.
    The truth will win whatever we do. Unfortunately, more kids will be sick by the time we realize that we were wrong to follow blindly the medical system.

    A lot of people dont seem to understand that as parents of autistic kids we believed before in the safety of vaccines and in the medical system and that is why we vaccinated our kids. But now that our kids got hurt very badly by the vaccines (containing mercury, heavy metals, live viruses and all other toxic chemicals), we dont believe anymore in the system. We got burned once, we learned our lesson. We are not nuts or anti-vaccine just for the fun of it. We do not make money when warning other parents about vaccines. We just dont want anybody to go through what we have been through. Every decent person do that on a regular basis warning neighbors or family members about a danger.

  162. NelC

    Alex, would you rather that other people suffered than you be wrong? Really? Think about what you’re saying, for goodness’ sake.

  163. Honestly this is the first I’m hearing about the idea that vaccines are causing medical problems but I have to say that the idea itself is rather silly considering that everyone I know has been vaccinated and hey we’re all fine.

    And if not I can guarantee it had nothing to do with a vaccine, Alex I’m sorry to hear about your child but I think it’s irresponsible for you to promote this massive fear mongering.

    And I hope for your sake that the child you are not vaccinating doesn’t get sick because then you will be the only one to blame… think you could live with that?

  164. I’m actually reminded of the study that said that having multiple sex partners causes cervix cancer. What do you know it was discovered to be a virus transmitted during sex.

    What I’m trying to say is that finding a link with autism and vaccines (if such a link exists) doesn’t mean that the vaccines themselves are the culprit.

  165. Greg in Austin

    Alex Horton said,

    “There is still all the other evidence showing the danger of vaccines,”

    Please provide this evidence. I would like to examine it.

    8)

  166. Daffy

    Sir Eccles ,

    I once saw a survey that said over 90% of successfully self employed people (I am one) would have been diagnosed with ADD as children. I just wonder if Autism is really on the rise, or is hysteria about Autism on the rise?

    Again I am emphatically NOT denying Autism exists.

  167. Jen

    We’re spoiled. We all grew up in a time in which parents could reasonably expect to see all their kids grow up. A time when no one sees a person killed or mangled by polio.>>>

    Yes, now we get to live in a time when 1 in 6 kids is diagnosed with some sort of developmental disorder. Autism, ADHD, allergies, asthma. (And that’s just the A’s!) Yep, chronic illness and permanent disability is ever so much better! (insert eye roll)

    We now live in a time where antibiotic overuse has led to lovely little things like MRSA, VRSA/VISA, C-diff, etc. Ah…the wonders of “modern medicine.”

    Spoiled indeed.

  168. Julian

    Jen, do you realize how stupid you look to someone with family in 3rd world countries when you say things like that? I mean, Christ! At least look up what you’re ranting about before opening your mouth.

  169. Antaeus Feldspar

    “Bob Schatz, there are thousands of parents like you and me who rightly believe that vaccines cause autism. We have enough “clinical proof” as compared to all the so called “scientific epidemiological studies” that denies the link. You see, we were hit once and that is why we learned our lesson about following blindly the heard believing in the medical system.”

    Translated: “It’s so true what they say, that the plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘data’. At least when it comes to me. When it comes to me, the singular of ‘anecdote’ is ‘data’.”

  170. Greg in Austin

    This is a test. Is this thing still working?

  171. Greg in Austin

    Jen said,

    “Yes, now we get to live in a time when 1 in 6 kids is diagnosed with some sort of developmental disorder. Autism, ADHD, allergies, asthma. (And that’s just the A’s!)”

    Did you really just say “allergies?”

    Wow. You’re right, Jen. Its so much worse that people are suffering from allergies than those mythical diseases.

    8)

  172. Sadine Tebbal

    Julian,
    Jen researched the subject and presented in a scientific manner her point. Try at least to respond with some proof instead of BS. Or just say you did not understand anything and shut up.

  173. Greg in Austin

    Here’s a list of Vaccines and Preventable Diseases from the CDC:
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/default.htm

    Jen, please look up any one of those and tell me which one is less worse than being allergic to pollen.

    Ignorance is bliss…

    8)

  174. AD

    To Bob Schatz- You have just as much evidence that sitting in the carseat on the way to the doctor caused autism. There are millions of babies born each year. Millions of shots being given to young children. Thousands of new cases of autism diagnosed in young children. Does it surprise you that in some cases, the latter might immediately follow the former? Precede the former? Postdate it by years? In your case, a “cause and effect”-like pattern is, quite frankly, simply the result of very unfortunate chance. Those that like you experience by chance a similar sequence of events try to find meaning or cause, and are very vocal about their experience, leading to the sense that there is all this evidence from everyday people not being considered. Well, what about those that developed autism before shots? Long after? They are not so vocal. This is the problem in statistics and surveying known as SELF SELECTION. An example: People are assigned a room to take the SAT in, one of dozens in a school. Twenty people walk into a room. In talking to everyone else they all figure out that they were all told to go to room 224. To follow your logic, they would then conclude that everyone who goes to the school take the SAT are told to go to room 224. It is that simple, and that WRONG. Collecting everyone from room 224 to attest to this “fact” is not science, nor does it reflect reality.

  175. AD

    But that being said this won’t go away until people can pin down the genetic and environmental (if any) causes of autism. Or even if autism can have one single cause for all manifestations.

  176. ndt

    # Jen Says:
    February 9th, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Yes, now we get to live in a time when 1 in 6 kids is diagnosed with some sort of developmental disorder. Autism, ADHD, allergies, asthma. (And that’s just the A’s!) Yep, chronic illness and permanent disability is ever so much better! (insert eye roll)

    We now live in a time where antibiotic overuse has led to lovely little things like MRSA, VRSA/VISA, C-diff, etc. Ah…the wonders of “modern medicine.”

    Spoiled indeed.

    Have you ever met someone who was deformed by polio? Met someone who lost their sight or hearing to mumps or measles? Met someone who had a limb amputated because of gangrene?

    Things are much better now.

  177. CJEH

    I would like to step forward here and say that Bob *may not be wrong* about *his own child*. There were, in all the vaccine-autism studies, one or two kids that seemed to, indeed, develop autism spectrum behaviours after receiving one or more vaccines at a time. Statistically insignificant, but not absolute zero. Still absoultely not enough to support the claims that vaccines cause all autism.

    One thing the anitvax position fails to take into account is that in many cases, the age range that large vaccine doses are given, is also the same age range that many of the developmental issues with genetic disorders become evident. But there has also been no studies on the effects of vaccines on children with a genetic predisposition to autism, mostly because there’d be no way to actually do such a study. But I do wonder what the results would show. Is it possible that vaccinations, in some children, could be a catalyst for behaviour changes?

    What the biggest problem is, is that many people looking at autism are trying to find one smoking gun, and there isn’t. Autism, and the other Pervasive Developmental Disorders are, technically, psychiatric diagnoses, not medical ones. They are based on specific patterns of behaviours. Rett Syndrome, for example, is a PDD, found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. But when the DSM-V is published, Rett Syndrome will no longer be present as a mental health disorder, because they’ve found the underlying genetic cause.

    Saying someone is ‘autistic’ is like saying someone is ‘runny nosed’. What’s the underlying cause of the runny nose? Allergies? A Cold? Something more?

    In my daughters autism-specialized public school classroom, are 8 children who all fall in the autism spectrum. NONE of them have the same underlying cause of the patterns of behaviour and interaction that are called ‘autism’. 3 of the children have rare, unrelated genetic disorders. 2 more have other psychiatric concerns, some have no known cause of their behaviours.

    Until the search moves from looking for a ‘cure’ for autism spectrum disorders, and goes to looking for the cause of each child’s individual, complex case, then we’ll be doing all of the autistic families a disservice.

  178. Na

    Since no one else has said it yet, in response to:

    Sadine Tebbal Says:
    February 9th, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    “Dr Wakefield is like Galileo . The latter published his support to the Sun-centered theory of the universe (Earth rotate around the sun as opposed to the view at that time that the sun rotated around the earth). In 1614, his research was denounced as dangerous and close to heresy. In 1616, he was ordered to appear before the Holy Office in Rome. He was found vehemently suspect of heresy and was placed under house arrest.
    The medical system is behaving exactly like the Roman Inquisition.”

    My understanding is that Galileo wrote some scientific ideas down, which non-scientific people didn’t understand. Science and those who studied Galileo’s ideas later proved him right.

    In this case, Wakefield wrote some scientific ideas down and then science and those who studied it have pretty much proven it wrong in every aspect.

    How is that like an Inquisition? To me it sounds like standard scientific practice: studying ideas and trying to replicate them. If you can’t replicate the results yourself, then the idea is baseless.

    I will add: Sadine and the other parents of autistic children, I hope that your children are doing well. I appreciate that it must be difficult and feel for you greatly. Your anger however at basic scientific principles confuses me. I suffer from depression and have done so since I was nine. Am I to blame it on vaccines? Parents? School? Genetics? No, I blame nothing. I just consider it my lot in life and try to get on. I completely understand the need to find an answer, but to be so very angry at something that has saved countless lives…Well, it befuddles me.

  179. Lawrence

    Once again, you can pretty much blame the overuse of antibiotics on hysterical parents – who demand doctors prescribe them for just about anything their child has, including colds & the flu, that antibiotics have no effect on (or they stop giving their kinds the medication on the first signs of them getting better, rather than complete the dosage as required).

    Parents hate to see their children hurt, ill, sick, etc & would pretty much give anything to make them better or find someone to blame if they don’t. It is a situation where the parents can very easily make things worse, out of the need to “do something.”

  180. Jen

    Julian bellows: Jen, do you realize how stupid you look to someone with family in 3rd world countries when you say things like that? I mean, Christ! At least look up what you’re ranting about before opening your mouth.>>>>>

    Tell that to the Somali immigrants in Minnesota who had never even heard of autism until they came here.

  181. Jen

    ndt writes: Have you ever met someone who was deformed by polio? Met someone who lost their sight or hearing to mumps or measles? Met someone who had a limb amputated because of gangrene?

    Things are much better now.>>>>

    Are you kidding me?

    Nope haven’t seen any of the above things. (Well, actually, since I work in a hospital, I have seen PLENTY of amputations d/t gangrene, mostly from MRSA) But I’ll tell you some of the things I do see… I see children struggling for breath due to asthma. You ever see THAT? It is heartwrenching. I see elderly people dying from MRSA and C-diff…things which are now spreading from hospitals and nursing homes out into the community and affecting our kids. I have two autistic boys, one of whom is now a teenager, prone to aggression and can drag me across the room by my hair. I see a huge increase in the numbers of kids with peanut allergies that are sometimes fatal. You do know that allergies and asthma can also kill, right?

    Things are definitely NOT “much better.”

  182. Jen

    Lawrence writes: Once again, you can pretty much blame the overuse of antibiotics on hysterical parents – who demand doctors prescribe them for just about anything their child has, including colds & the flu, that antibiotics have no effect on (or they stop giving their kinds the medication on the first signs of them getting better, rather than complete the dosage as required).>>>

    No sir. The blame rests soley with the one who writes the prescriptions. It is the JOB of that person to educate the “hysterical parents” about the dangers of antibiotic overuse, and say NO.

  183. Jen

    Greg writes: Did you really just say “allergies?”

    Wow. You’re right, Jen. Its so much worse that people are suffering from allergies than those mythical diseases.

    You are aware that peanut allergies can be fatal, right?

  184. Todd W.

    @Jen

    Tell that to the Somali immigrants in Minnesota who had never even heard of autism until they came here.

    This comment is inappropriate for a couple reasons. First, you give it in a vacuum, devoid of context. Second, it is merely an emotional plea. Third, your implication is that autism doesn’t exist in Somalia.

    So, if you are going to use a statement like this to back up your arguments, please provide 1) some context (what Somali immigrants? how is autism related to these immigrants? why are they germane to the conversation?), 2) facts without pleas to emotion, and 3) a clear statement on whether or not you feel that autism exists in Somalia. If that last one is “it doesn’t exist”, then please also provide evidence for that.

  185. Todd W.

    @Jen

    Regarding non-autism issues, you seem to be muddying the waters by bringing in other issues not related to the vaccine-autism link topic. Primarily, the acetaminophen-asthma issue. While a topic worthy of discussion, it is no within the scope of Dr. Plait’s original post and serves more to distract from the main issue of discussion, than adding anything to it. Similarly, the allergy issue does not appear to be related.

    Please try to stay on topic.

    That said, I do have to take some issue with your statement that the full blame for MRSA is with the doctors. While I agree that doctors should strive to educate patients (or their parents) and say “no” to them, patients should also be willing to be educated and listen. Some responsibility does lie with the “gimme a pill to make things better now” public. And your blaming ignores the people who stop antibiotic treatment once symptoms disappear, rather than following the full course of treatment. Do they not figure into the MRSA issue?

    No need to respond to my MRSA comments. Just needed to rebut your one-sided argument.

  186. Jen

    Regarding non-autism issues, you seem to be muddying the waters by bringing in other issues not related to the vaccine-autism link topic. Primarily, the acetaminophen-asthma issue. While a topic worthy of discussion, it is no within the scope of Dr. Plait’s original post and serves more to distract from the main issue of discussion, than adding anything to it. Similarly, the allergy issue does not appear to be related.

    Please try to stay on topic.>>>

    Have you not been paying attention? These “other issues” are in fact, ALL related. I believe (and yes, I am fully aware that I do not have scientific proof of this) that Tylenol use, both prenatally and in early childhood is behind a lot of the chronic illness we are seeing in children today, including autism. At what time do children receive the most Tylenol? WHEN THE ARE RECEIVING THEIR IMMUNIZATIONS. This does all tie in together (Again, my BELIEF, admittedly not based on scientific FACT). If my oldest autistic son hadn’t reacted so horribly to Tylenol recently, I wouldn’t have believed it either. I believe that many parents who believe that vaccines were the trigger for their child’s autism, aren’t taking into consideration other factors, such as antipyretic use.

    I am frustrated by the fact that Tylenol is used so carelessly in this country. There is enough scientific evidence to link it to asthma, IMO, and yet, not many seem to be discouraging its use. Now why is this? How many more scientific studies do we NEED?

  187. Julian

    Jen wrote

    “Nope haven’t seen any of the above things.”

    in response to a comment from nd.
    ——

    Well then I guess this explains why you think western medicine was invented by Satan. Not only do you know nothing about the world you live in, you haven’t even glanced at a med school text book which considering where you work you should have by now.

    “But I’ll tell you some of the things I do see… I see children struggling for breath due to asthma. You ever see THAT? It is heartwrenching.”

    Not especially. My sister has a pretty bad case and it’s completely under control. Why? because we follow the doctor’s instructions and make she never leaves home without her inhaler and keep that mist machine ready in case of anything big. Haven’t had to use it in about 4 years but you never know.

    Kids in Africa dying of malnutrition, now that’s heart wrenching.

    “I have two autistic boys, one of whom is now a teenager, prone to aggression and can drag me across the room by my hair. ”

    I went to school with several autistic schoolmates. Aside from being a little obnoxious they were mostly fine. I’ve also gone to school with many ‘normal’ boys who are now in jail for committing violent crimes.

  188. Jen, you have exemplified the problem with this whole debate by stating:

    Again, my BELIEF, admittedly not based on scientific FACT

    The fact that you and many others simply refuse to listen to the medical evidence that has been presented time and again, and instead just raise your voices to a shrill screech when someone refutes your belief. And yes, most of your posts sound like a screech in my head. Hysterical ramblings based on emotion that have no grounding in reality, other than your own.

  189. Greg in Austin

    Jen said,

    “You are aware that peanut allergies can be fatal, right?”

    You are aware that getting hit by a car can be fatal, right?

    More to the point, a person who is allergic to peanuts CANNOT SPREAD THAT ALLERGY TO OTHERS! Allergies are indeed an annoyance, and in some rare cases even life threatening (such as bee stings and poison ivy), but they are not communicable diseases. Do you see the difference?

    8)

  190. Greg in Austin

    Jen said,

    “I am frustrated by the fact that Tylenol is used so carelessly in this country. There is enough scientific evidence to link it to asthma, IMO, and yet, not many seem to be discouraging its use. Now why is this? How many more scientific studies do we NEED?”

    We would need more studies that show Tylenol causes allergies than studies that show Tylenol has no affect on allergies. Are there any studies that answer that either way?

    Adding to the anecdotal evidence I posted 3 days ago, I took Tylenol when I was a child. So did my mother and my siblings. I don’t have allergies, although some, but not all, of my siblings do. And none of us are autistic. However, this is not scientific, just an anecdote, and cannot in any way be used as a case for or against Tylenol causing allergies.

    And again, allergies are not on the list of deadly communicable diseases. Did you read that list, Jen?

    8)

  191. Todd W.

    @Jen

    Regarding the acetaminophen-asthma study abstracts you provided, they suggest an association and possible increased risk of asthma in moderate to heavy users of acetaminophen, but do not show a causal link. I’m curious what other medical or lifestyle factors may be common among the moderate-heavy users who exhibit asthma vs. those that do not exhibit asthma. Is there some other factor that is influencing their responses? Is there something among the people who are moderate-heavy users that lie behind both the asthma and the heavier use of acetaminophen, something that is lacking in the non-asthmatic/heavy user groups?

    Also, what is the definition in these studies of “moderate” and “heavy” use? All acetaminophen labeling states that it should not be used for longer than 3 days for fever or 10 days for pain without the supervision of a physician. So, that needs to be taken into account, as well.

    Your posting of the SIDS case is not related to the drug itself, but rather the administration of the drug, if even that. If, indeed, the twins’ deaths were due to an overdose, that is the fault of the physician/caregiver. Supposing, for a moment, that the acetaminophen was responsible (and the autopsy and other measures concluded it was not), would the children have died if proper dosing guidelines had been followed? If no, then there is nothing wrong with acetaminophen itself, in that context.

    Keep in mind the differences between on-label and off-label use. If problems are occurring when people (patients or physicians) use a product on-label, then that needs to be addressed by the manufacturer and FDA, possibly resulting in changing of indication all the way up to removal of market approval. If the problems are with off-label use, then the drug itself is not the issue. Rather, the medical practices of the people is what needs to be changed. Warnings and such can be added to the labeling, but really it’s the individuals that should be looked at more closely.

    You asked how many more studies are needed? As many as it takes to actually find a causal, rather than simply correlative, connection between acetaminophen and asthma/allergies/autism.

  192. Daffy

    Jen says: “No sir. The blame rests soley with the one who writes the prescriptions. It is the JOB of that person to educate the “hysterical parents” about the dangers of antibiotic overuse, and say NO.”

    Parents have lawyers and threaten to sue at the drop of a hat…I have seen it myself: a screaming (literally) parent DEMANDING that their kid be given antibiotics for a viral infection. No, the blame does NOT solely rest with the doctor, not even close.

  193. OtherRob

    I’ve read through this whole thread and I just want to say that Greg in Austin may very well be my new favorite person ever. :D

  194. Todd W.

    One thing about Phil’s post has been nagging at me. Was Dr. Wakefield the person who actually kicked off the anti-vax movement (insofar as the “it causes autism” argument goes)? Is there a site that has a timeline of the anti-vax movement and what aspects of it they blame for autism?

  195. Jen

    Julian writes: “Nope haven’t seen any of the above things.”

    in response to a comment from nd.
    ——

    Well then I guess this explains why you think western medicine was invented by Satan. Not only do you know nothing about the world you live in, you haven’t even glanced at a med school text book which considering where you work you should have by now.>>>>>

    Sorry, I don’t believe in Satan or any other mythical beings for that matter. And I know plenty about the world I live in… much of it ain’t good. In fact, I’ve probably seen TOO MUCH.

    All we’ve done is trade acute illnesses such as measles and chicken pox for chronic ones such as asthma and autism. The “herd” is mighty sick, and that is a FACT.

    Julian continues: Not especially. My sister has a pretty bad case and it’s completely under control. Why? because we follow the doctor’s instructions and make she never leaves home without her inhaler and keep that mist machine ready in case of anything big. Haven’t had to use it in about 4 years but you never know.>>>>

    Well that’s wonderful for your sister. Not so wonderful for the thousands of kids who are without health insurance, whose parents can’t afford medications, and end up in the emergency room with status asthmaticus because they are unable to keep their symptoms under control.

    Julian: I went to school with several autistic schoolmates. Aside from being a little obnoxious they were mostly fine. I’ve also gone to school with many ‘normal’ boys who are now in jail for committing violent crimes.>>>

    You are the one who seems to have very limited experiences, not me. Try visiting a group home or a high school self-contained classroom for autistic kids sometime. Try visiting an adolescent psychiatric ward sometime. It will be a real eye opener.

  196. Jen

    drksky writes: The fact that you and many others simply refuse to listen to the medical evidence that has been presented time and again, and instead just raise your voices to a shrill screech when someone refutes your belief. >>>

    Please direct me to the epidemiological study or studies that factor in the use of antipyretics. I made this request 2 days ago and no one responded. I’ve been more than patient. The current “medical evidence” is unacceptable to me until I see this study.

  197. Jen

    Greg in Austin writes: More to the point, a person who is allergic to peanuts CANNOT SPREAD THAT ALLERGY TO OTHERS! Allergies are indeed an annoyance, and in some rare cases even life threatening (such as bee stings and poison ivy), but they are not communicable diseases. Do you see the difference?

    Guess you haven’t been to an elementary school lately and seen the “peanut free” zones in the cafeteria. True, it’s not communicable in the traditional sense, but even minute amounts of peanut dust in a very sensitive child could trigger a life threatening reaction. So while a child with a peanut allergy can’t pass that allergy to others, he has to live in constant fear that he will be exposed to it.

  198. Jen

    Parents have lawyers and threaten to sue at the drop of a hat…I have seen it myself: a screaming (literally) parent DEMANDING that their kid be given antibiotics for a viral infection. No, the blame does NOT solely rest with the doctor, not even close.>>>

    So call their bluff and let ‘em sue…or tell them to find another doctor that will cater to their whims. If parents are screaming for antibiotics for viral illnesses, then what that parent needs is education, not a prescription. And I’m sorry, but fear of a lawsuit just isn’t a good reason to write prescriptions willy nilly for antibiotics.

  199. ndt

    Jen Says:
    February 10th, 2009 at 5:09 am
    ndt writes: Have you ever met someone who was deformed by polio? Met someone who lost their sight or hearing to mumps or measles? Met someone who had a limb amputated because of gangrene?

    Things are much better now.>>>>

    Are you kidding me?

    Nope haven’t seen any of the above things. (Well, actually, since I work in a hospital, I have seen PLENTY of amputations d/t gangrene, mostly from MRSA) But I’ll tell you some of the things I do see… I see children struggling for breath due to asthma. You ever see THAT? It is heartwrenching. I see elderly people dying from MRSA and C-diff…things which are now spreading from hospitals and nursing homes out into the community and affecting our kids. I have two autistic boys, one of whom is now a teenager, prone to aggression and can drag me across the room by my hair. I see a huge increase in the numbers of kids with peanut allergies that are sometimes fatal. You do know that allergies and asthma can also kill, right?

    Things are definitely NOT “much better.”

    I have asthma. It beats the crap out of polio or smallpox or losing my hearing because of complications from the mumps.

    There’s no evidence peanut allergies or autism were caused by modern medicine. Do you really want to go back to the days when families had 10 or 12 kids and only expected 7 of them to live to adulthood? Are you really that ignorant of history that you can’t see how much better things are now, how much longer life expectancies are?

  200. ndt

    We didn’t “trade” chicken pox for asthma and autism. For one thing, I’ve had both – I was born with asthma and allergies long before the chicken pox vaccine was invented. I got chicken pox when I was 16.

    The medical advances that allowed for vaccines have nothing to do with the rising incidence of asthma. Increased indoor and outdoor pollution is probably to blame for that. As for autism, there’s no evidence it is becoming more common.

  201. Todd W.

    @Jen

    So call their bluff and let ‘em sue…or tell them to find another doctor that will cater to their whims. If parents are screaming for antibiotics for viral illnesses, then what that parent needs is education, not a prescription. And I’m sorry, but fear of a lawsuit just isn’t a good reason to write prescriptions willy nilly for antibiotics.

    Let’s take the two options you present.

    * Let the patient/parent sue. This will result in wasted court time, higher medical practice insurance for the doctor, and subsequently, higher costs for patients. It also takes up the physician’s time by forcing them to appear in court rather than in the exam room. While this may help to reduce resistant strains, it does not solve the problem and, in fact, creates more problems.

    * Tell them to find a doctor that will prescribe antibiotics. This simply passes the buck and, again, does nothing to solve the problem.

    Education of the patient/parent is important, and physicians should be doing this. However, as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Some patients/parents just won’t listen, and they will find what they want from some source.

    Also, your two options do not even address the issue of people who fail to complete the full treatment course of the antibiotics.

    It stands that the patients/parents bear part of the responsibility for MRSA and similar issues, and that the responsibility is not solely on the physician.

  202. Todd W.

    @Jen

    All we’ve done is trade acute illnesses such as measles and chicken pox for chronic ones such as asthma and autism.

    You appear to be asserting a claim that vaccines (or other modern medicine) are responsible for chronic diseases, like asthma and autism. Please provide citations that show a causal link.

  203. Greg in Austin

    Jen said,

    “Guess you haven’t been to an elementary school lately and seen the “peanut free” zones in the cafeteria. True, it’s not communicable in the traditional sense, but even minute amounts of peanut dust in a very sensitive child could trigger a life threatening reaction.”

    What is the percentage of people in the US that are allergic to peanuts? Now, what is the percentage of people who, if not vaccinated, could die from Meningococcal Disease?

    What is Meningococcal Disease?

    Description:
    A severe bacterial infection that can cause meningitis, bloodstream infection, and other localized infections. Although the disease is not common in the United States, in those who get it, symptoms develop and progress rapidly even leading to death in 24-48 hours.

    Symptoms:
    Meningitis is characterized by fever, headache, and stiff neck. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and mental status changes.

    Meningococcal bacteremia is a bloodstream infection characterized by sudden onset of fever and in severe cases a petechial rash (small red or purple spots on the skin) or purpuric rash (red or purple discolorations on the skin).
    Complications

    Meningitis can lead to loss of a limb, permanent neurologic impairment, or death.
    Meningococcal bacteremia can result in joint infection, pneumonia, organ system failure, shock, and death.
    Transmission

    Spread by direct contact with large droplet respiratory secretions (coughing, sneezing, kissing, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation). Close household contacts of persons with meningococcal disease are at greatly increased risk of infection. This disease develops and progresses rapidly.

    Now please, tell me, is peanut allergy really on the same level here?

    8)

  204. Please direct me to the epidemiological study or studies that factor in the use of antipyretics. I made this request 2 days ago and no one responded. I’ve been more than patient. The current “medical evidence” is unacceptable to me until I see this study.

    I am not an epidemiologist, but then, neither are you. Which is the point that I was trying to make. You’re basing your decisions and argument on no concrete evidence other than your own personal anecdotes. Can I refute your claim? No. But then neither can you validate it beyond your “gut feeling”.

  205. Greg in Austin

    Jen,

    Please don’t take all this as a personal attack. You say you work in a hospital, and been to group homes and psychiatric wards, etc. You seem intelligent, and you are obviously very passionate about your position. You are getting a lot of replies to your posts, but nobody seems to agree with you, and I know that can be frustrating.

    I work in a company with over 2,000 people. Nearly everyone here has a family, many with children, and I would guess that many of them have children who are autistic, or asthmatic, or have allergies. Trust me, I’m in central Texas, and Cedar fever was kicking everyone’s butts about a week ago.

    It is sad that some kids are sick. It is sad that some kids die. But the reality is, today, in 2009, in the United States, far far fewer children are dying everyday than 100 years ago, due to the advancements of modern medicine. If what you say about vaccines and medications causing real harm is true, then it will show up in the data. But we’re not seeing it. I could be wrong, and perhaps you, or someone else with your passion may do the science necessary to prove it, and then the cures for today’s illnesses may be found. Until some other illness comes along.

    8)

  206. Jen

    Todd: You appear to be asserting a claim that vaccines (or other modern medicine) are responsible for chronic diseases, like asthma and autism. Please provide citations that show a causal link.>>>>

    Do you know what glutathione is?

    Do you believe that Tylenol is a necessary drug? What does Tylenol cure, exactly? And do its potential benefits outweight the potential risks?

    Do you believe that giving a drug to pregnant women and babies that depletes glutathione is a good idea? (A simple yes or no will suffice.)

    I believe a lot of what is wrong in this country is that we are “fever phobic”. Fever is, in most cases, a GOOD thing. It shows that your immune system is doing what it is supposed to do…fighting off illness. I’ve even read some studies that seem to suggest that suppressing fever INCREASES mortality.

    I do believe that vaccines are necessary, so kindly quit trying to paint me as being anti-vaccine.

    I have never said that vaccines are responsible for chronic illness.

    Do I believe that modern medical practices are to blame for the rise in chronic illness? Yes. If you want a study that proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt, I’m sorry, I can’t provide that. I believe that the evidence will show it someday, but like I’ve said before, many don’t have the luxury of waiting around. Until then, I will continue to advise everyone I come across to avoid tylenol like the plague.

  207. Wow, talk about a heated subject!

    There are so many different arguments and topics going on that I won’t even try to address them all. I actually wanted to point something out in regards to Bob, who was posting a few days ago on the thread.

    Bob, if you read this (if you can FIND this through all the hullabaloo here!), I really feel for you, but I think you’re letting your personal experience cloud your view. Just because the two trees in your front yard are Maple trees isn’t proof that all trees are Maple trees.

    I can relate to your story. My younger brother has autism. It did set in very swiftly, where he seemed perfectly normal for the first year or so of his life, but then fairly suddenly developed issues. It was also onset at about the same time that he was scheduled to get his immunizations (I think it was the 18 month, but possibly the 12 month – I can’t recall). However, interestingly enough, his symptoms showed up BEFORE he had ever got immunized.

    Studies out there show that for a lot of autistic kids, it can be 1-2 years before you see any signs of it begin to develop. My wife, who is a pediatric nurse, also sees this at her clinic. A lot of babys seem perfectly normal when they’re born, but around 12-18 months, they can get full blown autism.

    While it’s so rare that she doesn’t see it in her clinic very often, she’s seen it enough to know that it has no correlation with immunizations.

    You’ve got to remember, at 1 year old, your brain is a loooong way from being done developing. Autism and other neurological issues have been observed developing in kids into their teens. Plus, so little is known about these diseases and what triggers them, it would be presumptive to assume one thing or the other did it.

    As I said, you’re making an assumption, that because your first child developed autism at about the time you inoculated him, they MUST be related. Again, because the trees in your yard are all Maples, it doesn’t mean all trees are Maples.

    The bigger concern I would have is that for your second child, every day of his life will now be a game of Russian Roulette. Wake up, drop a disease into the chamber, give it a spin, and pull the trigger. Nope, Didn’t lose his vision to measles today. But there’s always tomorrow.

    I mentioned it on Phil’s other blog on this subject – having grown up with an autistic brother, I know to some extent what sort of work it takes to raise such a child. Knowing that, I would much rather raise a child with autism than have a child who started off normal, but winds up losing his vision, or getting a terrible disease that forces him to a life of suffering. But that’s just me. Actual mileage may vary. Void where prohibited.

  208. ndt

    So, Jen, no evidence?

  209. Todd W.

    @Jen

    I have never said that vaccines are responsible for chronic illness.

    But your comment that “[a]ll we’ve done is trade acute illnesses such as measles and chicken pox for chronic ones such as asthma and autism” implies that our use of vaccines has resulted in chronic illnesses. A bit of a quibble, but something that will be picked out, particularly when the main theme of the thread is vaccines.

    That said, I still ask you for citations, showing causal links between any medicine and chronic illnesses, such as asthma, autism or allergies.

    I will also put forth that I recall hearing (I haven’t had a chance yet to look for specific studies) that a dominant thought is that the increase in autoimmune diseases (e.g., allergies, diabetes, etc.) may be due to over-sterilization of our environments. A diabetes researcher at Mass. General Hospital, Dr. Denise Faustman, has noted that autoimmune diseases tend to have a higher prevalence in regions with greater use of cleaners/antibacterials. So, that is something else to take account of in those studies you provided.

    Again: citations showing a causal link, not a correlative link. Until a causal link is shown, it is premature to blame something so adamantly for something else that may not even be related.

  210. Greg in Austin

    Jen said,

    “I have never said that vaccines are responsible for chronic illness. “

    Your very first post on this topic was:
    “Vaccination is linked to autism via Tylenol…look into it. Seriously.”

    You also said,

    “The proof is out there, but only those who are truly interested in finding the truth will find it. You can yammer away that “vaccines don’t cause autism” all you like, but let’s face facts…until someone figures out what DOES cause autism, vaccination rates will continue to plummet, and more children will be permanently disabled.”

    Now, the topic of this post was about the vaccine-autism link, and you clearly started out with the argument that vaccines cause autism. Since then you have changed your argument to tylenol causes autism, then tylenol causes asthma.

    Now, granted, the studies you’ve shown do say there could be a relation between asthma and acetaminophen, but I think more studies would need to be done. You would have to rule-out known causes of asthma within the test groups, such as air quality (especially in the Mexico study.) However, repercussions of a link between tylenol and asthma is still completely different than the repercussions of not inoculating children!

    8)

  211. Jen

    Greg writes: Now, the topic of this post was about the vaccine-autism link, and you clearly started out with the argument that vaccines cause autism. Since then you have changed your argument to tylenol causes autism, then tylenol causes asthma.

    Go back and re-read what I wrote. I said, “autism is linked to vaccination via Tylenol.” I did not say, “vaccines cause autism.” There is a subtle difference. I addressed this in an earlier post. Tylenol is given most often when? IN CONJUNCTION WITH VACCINATIONS. Some pediatricians even suggest administering it BEFORE vaccination, even though this practice is not supported by scientific evidence. And for those who doubt that this practice exists:

    http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_immunization_000090_1.htm

    “Ask the doctor if it is OK to give the child a dose of acetaminophen (Tylenol) before or after a shot.”

    http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:j75guT4qOX0J:www.cdc.gov/Vaccines/vac-gen/6mishome.htm+tylenol+before+immunizations&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=12&gl=us

    See #4…”Most vaccine adverse events are minor and temporary, such as a sore arm or mild fever. These can often be controlled by taking acetaminophen before or after vaccination.”

    I believe that if you take Tylenol out of the equation, that vaccination’s “link” to autism would disappear.

    Let me be clear. I am not advocating not vaccinating children! What I am advocating is limiting, if not completely eliminating the use of Tylenol, especially BEFORE vaccinations.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18661769?ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    CONCLUSIONS: Administration of acetaminophen along with DTP vaccine or 2 hours after vaccination does not affect the occurrence of febrile responses following booster vaccination. Unnecessary use of analgesics should be prevented.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17766503?ordinalpos=3&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    CONCLUSIONS: A minority of pediatricians and mothers use topical local anesthetics during childhood immunization despite evidence to support their use. Oral analgesics are used more commonly, but this practice is not consistent with scientific evidence. Knowledge-translation strategies are needed to increase the use of local anesthesia.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16510639?ordinalpos=8&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    CONCLUSIONS: We did not find evidence that prophylaxis with acetaminophen or ibuprofen offers a clinically significant benefit in prevention of local reactions to the fifth DTaP vaccination.

    Can we at least all agree that medications (of all sorts) should only be used when absolutely necessary, and call it a day? :)

  212. Jim Atkins

    Just watching Countdown on MSNBC and Keith Olbermann made the mad Dr. Wakefield #1 Worst Person in the World today!!! Another blow struck for rationalism!!!

  213. Greg in Austin

    @Jen,

    “Can we at least all agree that medications (of all sorts) should only be used when absolutely necessary, and call it a day? :)”

    Yes. I can agree with that.

    Also, your claims with evidence that using acetaminophen before shots may be harmful is interesting. I don’t know enough about that, but there are probably others here that do.

    Thank you for using real evidence, and not anecdotes or appeals to emotion to support your point.

    8)

  214. Greg in Austin

    p.s. I really prefer ibuprofen anyway.

    ;)

  215. Questions

    Think about it people………. You have no idea what it is like to question doctors we entrust our children to, when doctors are capable of making mistakes just like us. Whether you stand on left or right foot with this debate, the true questions is…………..
    Should parents no longer be able to make decisions for their children based on experiences? Is that not what parenting is about? We experience things in life we don’t want to see our children repeat, or things that may hurt them, we try to protect them………..
    We have a society of money hungry people making dollars over fist off our sick children. How are we to believe vaccines are not the cause of various ailments?
    I think regardless of where you stand, I think you people are rude and insensitive.
    Bob, you keep doing what is right for you and yours. That after all is our JOB as parents.

  216. Greg in Austin

    @OtherRob,

    I don’t know what I did, but Thanks!

    8)

  217. Greg in Austin

    Questions said,

    “You have no idea what it is like to question doctors we entrust our children to, when doctors are capable of making mistakes just like us.”

    You can believe vaccines are not the cause of various ailments by educating yourself. And you should not be afraid to question your doctor. Either you trust them to know more than you do, or you don’t. If you don’t, get a better doctor. I ask my doctor questions all the time. There is no harm in that. But I trust that since she went to med school and has been practicing for more than 10 years, she knows more than I do about medicine.

    “We have a society of money hungry people making dollars over fist off our sick children. How are we to believe vaccines are not the cause of various ailments?”

    Oh, and really? Who is making dollars over fist? You must be exaggerating.

    8)

  218. Jen

    Found this today…it ties in with what I’ve been saying about tylenol…

    http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=new-test-for-mitochondrial-disease-2009-02-11

    …A new study reveals that people with these diseases may be deficient in glutathione, a toxin-fighting molecule made by the body that helps repair damage wrought by wayward mitochondria.

  219. Questions, you say :

    “Should parents no longer be able to make decisions for their children based on experiences? Is that not what parenting is about? We experience things in life we don’t want to see our children repeat, or things that may hurt them, we try to protect them………..”

    Basing your decisions solely from your own experiences is about the worst thing a person can do in most cases. You can’t look at 1 sample out of 6 billion and assume you know the absolute truth of a situation. Assuming that you can only makes you ignorant.

    One time, I was invited to try out a local pizza place by a coworker. I went there, and it was terrible. Poor service, everything took forever, and the food was terrible. My friend swore it was never like that, and many in the community love the place, so I wound up giving it a second chance. As it turned out, on that night when I first went, the cook and the waitress he was messing around with got caught “on the job” and were fired, leaving the place in shambles. It was probably the one and only night that that place had bad service in the decades it was open. If I had assumed my first, limited experience was right, I never would have gone back. But because I trusted my friends and the community around me, I did return, and now they’re one of my favorite places to eat out.

    Obviously, the problem with anecdotal statements like the one I just made is that they are stories, not cold hard facts. So go get some facts. Conduct research, look up numbers. Study causes. See for yourself. I grew up around medical professionals, and I’m now married to a pediatric nurse. I’ve seen the evidence, and I’ve read the studies. And my kids will all be vaccinated.

  220. Joseph

    We have a society of money hungry people making dollars over fist off our sick children.

    As evidenced by the Wakefield case.

    How are we to believe vaccines are not the cause of various ailments?

    Why vaccines and not a million other arbitrary things?

  221. Chris

    Joseph said “Why vaccines and not a million other arbitrary things?”

    How about teddy bears:
    http://www.blacktriangle.org/blog/?p=425

  222. Questions

    So I read the Teddy Bear crap, very amusing. Except Stuffed animals are not toxic mutated substances injected directly into an infants bloodstream. Sorry I don’t have the space to draw you a picture to compare the difference between the two as in your example of the Teddy Bear study….
    I believe vaccines have benefits for all of us, even more so of course if we lived in third world countries with no facilities of course, but as I stated, I believe there are benefits, though in China they do not vaccinate their children from day one like we do here, resulting in what??? less to no cases of Autism………..what is the harm in letting a child’s immune system build up a little on it’s own?
    What kind of house do you live in, that you live in fear of your child developing Diphtheria anyways?

  223. Russell

    It worries me that someone as wilfully ignorant as Jen is working in a hospital. Hopefully she’s just a manager, or someone equally far away from making decisions affecting people’s treatment.

    I was polite to Bob, because at least he admits that he just can’t bring himself to overcome the fear that vaccinating his other kid will bring more pain. That’s a perfectly human response.

    Jen thinks she knows what science is. She does not. There is no link between vaccination and autism, not even through Tylenol. Why? Because the studies have been done which show that kids who are vaccinated and kids who are not vaccinated have exactly equal chances of getting autism. If Jen was right about Tylenol being the contributing factor, the chances would not be equal.

    Jen also seems to think that we’re not better off today, because asthma, allergies, and autism are just as bad as measles, mumps and fucking POLIO. Well, this is the most bone-explodingly stupid thing she has said. Unlike her, I do know, and have known, people with these old-fashioned diseases, some of which still occur in developing nations.

    Polio, for example, has left a friend of mine with chronic pain on the level of a spike in the back, 24/7/365, and the inability to walk without great effort and more pain.

    I knew a kid who died of measles, in Samoa. Brain inflammation is not a fun way to die. Oh, and look up dengue fever or malaria sometime, and compare those with asthma! I know quite a few people with asthma. Sure, without modern medicine some of them would be dead – but who’s to say that the asthma medication doesn’t cause autism? Better be safe than sorry, and not take it, eh?

    Jen’s antiscientific bullshit, if allowed to take root, will KILL CHILDREN. I hate to be dramatic, but it’s true.

  224. Todd W.

    @Questions

    in China they do not vaccinate their children from day one like we do here, resulting in what??? less to no cases of Autism

    Please provide citations to back up this assertion.

  225. Greg in Austin

    Questions said,

    “Except Stuffed animals are not toxic mutated substances injected directly into an infants bloodstream.”

    You obviously haven’t been paying attention lately to the hundreds, if not thousands, of toy recalls due to dangerous levels of lead paint.

    “What kind of house do you live in, that you live in fear of your child developing Diphtheria anyways?”

    For one thing, Diptheria is not caused by living in a house. It is transmitted by, “Direct person- to-person transmission by intimate respiratory and physical contact.” The reason most people don’t worry about diptheria is because they’ve been vaccinated against it.

    www. cdc. gov/ncidod/dbmd/Diseaseinfo/diptheria_t.htm

    “what is the harm in letting a child’s immune system build up a little on it’s own?”

    You said you belive vaccines have benefit, yet you obviously don’t know how vaccines actually work. Vaccines work by building the immune system without infecting the person with the full-blown disease. If we waited for children to build up an immunity naturally, they will most likely die from the disease. Please, educate yourself.

    8)

    8)

  226. @Questions: Apparently you didn’t read the teddy bear thing too closely. It wasn’t a study. They didn’t show that teddy bears cause autism. They were explaining how a previous condition or action can be falsely linked to a subsequent event. i.e. My kid got a vaccination, then got autism, therefore vaccines cause autism. It’s a logical fallacy.

  227. Questions

    Greg, did you eat paint chips as a child? of course I pay attention to toy recalls. =)
    There is a difference though……..VACCINATIONS include substances worse than lead, that are injected INTO the bloodstream. OUCH! Let’s see EGGs, cow utter pus, monkey kidneys plus a little, Thimerosal for dessert kids?

    Although, now we must question just how much lead our children were exposed to from the toy manufacturing companies, BUT, we were DECEIVED, RIGHT???? who is to say we are not being deceived again?

    I just think PARENTS need to have choices too.
    Of course, I am glad you immunize your children, I believe in herd immunity.

    But it doesn’t mean parents who decide to hold off on it are sisters to Hitler either.
    With all do respect to everyone’s opinions.

  228. It disturbs me to see the extent to which statistics, and medical research methodologies based in epidemiological studies, are confused with science and assumed to have any relationship to or to be derived from scientific method and reasoning.

    The two are in fact quite different, with much of medical research “hitching a ride” on the credibility of science as a means of seeking knowledge when in fact it does not deserve to be tied to the horses tail and drug down the path.

    Statistics is a means of organizing masses of observational data. It formalizes large numbers of observations, and assures that the overall representation of those observations is not distorted by the inability of the unaided mind to process large numbers of inputs. All of those observations are, individually, no more and no less valid than a single “anecdote”. And the sum of them, represented by “statistical results” are nothing more than the sum of a bunch of “anecdotes” or observations.

    Neither single observations nor summed statistical results are “scientific”, per se. Both can be useful in doing science. The two are logically equivalent, apart from the additional objectivity which may be attained by large numbers of observations if we can ensure that the design of the methods used to take and record the results of the observations is appropriate to the purpose the data is to be used for.

    Science occurs when we think about, posit (hypothesize), and test cause. In science causal relationships posited must be of a nature which ensures testability, through the design and conduct of observations which are capable of confirming or falsifying the posited causal relations, and through the power of the posited relationships to explain observed conditions and facts.

    Simple observed “relations” which are supported by either “anecdote” or “statistical analysis” do not meet this test, in the absence of the chain of causal reason that explains the reported relationships and permits the extension of the reasoning beyond the particulars of the observations – the results of science are susceptible of “generalization”.

    The simple lack of statistal support for a relationship between vaccination and X (autism, allergy, sexual desirability, etc.) does not “scientifically” demonstrate that no such relationship exists – just as single observations of onset after use demonstrate that such a relationship does exist.

    To be “scientific” the evidence must be supported by posited, and falsifiable, chains of causal relationsips which explain *how* such consequences occur.

    The efforts of the “pro-vaccination” crowd here to avoid recognition and acknowledgement of this distinction does not pass the smell test with me, any more than the efforts of the anti-vaccination crowd to do the same does. We have posited, in rough terms ways in which vaccinations routines might cause physiological responses that account for excess adverse consequences to kids who are vaccinated.

    Mercury has not always been a part of vaccination – I was lucky to be pre mercury vaccine, myself. Heavy metals are not good for biology. That should be looked at.

    There may or may not be a glutathione issue, as one poster notes. There certainly is evidence that glutathione has important physiological functions, and it would be appropriate to explore the extent to which some treatment regimes interfere with glutathione activity and the consequences of such interference if it occurs.

    Multiple vaccination is a new practice, its use has no scientific basis; the statistical evidence that it is not harmful is insufficient and totally uncontolled.

    We need more science, and less reliance on statistical bullying as a stand in for the heavy pulling involved on doing real scientific work.

  229. Greg in Austin

    @Questions,

    You are obviously uninformed, uneducated, or a complete nincompoop…

    You said,

    “VACCINATIONS include substances worse than lead, that are injected INTO the bloodstream. OUCH! Let’s see EGGs, cow utter pus, monkey kidneys plus a little, Thimerosal for dessert kids?”

    The last time I ate an egg, it went into my bloodstream, and I had no ill effects.

    Have you even tried to read information about the effects of measles, mumps, rubella, polio, dipthereia, hepatitis, smallpox, anthrax, influenza, rabies, rotovirus, yellow fever, shingles, varicella, etc, etc?

    Please, take 10, no 20 minutes to look at the effects of these deadly diseases, and tell me which single one of these deadly diseases is preferable to injecting a person with anyone of the substances you mentioned.

    Then tell us what the effects of Lead Poisoning are, and how those effects can be transmitted from one person to another, causing the death of the second person.

    Todd W had a valid questions which you refused or were unable to answer…
    Show us proof that there are no cases of Autism in China,

    8)

  230. MartinM

    injected INTO the bloodstream

    Vaccines are injected intramuscularly.

  231. Jim Pivonka said,

    “It disturbs me to see the extent to which statistics, and medical research methodologies based in epidemiological studies, are confused with science and assumed to have any relationship to or to be derived from scientific method and reasoning.”

    Jim, it seems to me that you are the one who is confused about the scientific method. Please click my name, or go to sciencebuddies.org/mentoring/project_scientific_method.shtml, and take a close look at the section called, “Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion:” Data collection is mandatory for science, and statistics is pretty much required for analyzing that data.

    “We need more science, and less reliance on statistical bullying as a stand in for the heavy pulling involved on doing real scientific work.”

    Again, statistics is just a tool used to explain the data, and is an integral part of the scientific method. Please take some time to educate yourself.

    8)

  232. Questions

    @ Greg,
    Apparently you are the only educated one here because that seems to be your favorite line. Fortunately for my children I am educated enough to make INFORMED decisions about each individual shot they receive.
    I personally was double vaccinated as a young child, my parent lost my shot record and while living with my grandmother she “HAD” to have proof of my vaccination history to enter school, so I received all of my childhood scheduled shots, once again.
    At age 24 I was diagnosed with multiple cancers. I was not a smoker, drinker or involved in anything knowingly unhealthy for me. We will never know the cause of what “caused” my cancers, just seems odd to me though.
    Thank God this is America and we still have freedom of choice.
    Or, is that to be taken away too?
    I teach in Special Education and have spent plenty of time with parents of Autistic children, I listen to them, really that’s all they ask, for understanding. And until we are privy to every aspect that goes on in labs across the world, I think we need to be free thinkers and when something feels wrong in your GUT, LISTEN to it. Who are we to tell people they are right or wrong?
    Enjoy your EGGS Greg!

  233. @Questions,

    I’m sorry for calling you names, that is not something I normally do. Also, thank you for the hard work you do as a teacher. That is challenging enough with average children, and even more so for those with special needs.

    That being said, I would like to think that when you teach, you want to teach facts. Your comments about eggs, vaccines being worse than lead poisoning, no autistic children in China, etc. are completely wrong, and we should have no problem telling someone they are wrong. I don’t just say, “You are wrong, end of sentence,” but I try to provide evidence that shows why you are wrong. Its OK to be wrong, if you accept your mistakes and learn from them.

    You have made comments that were not factual, and myself and others have asked you to verify them. You have not done that yet. Instead, you try to change the subject and talk about your feelings. If you would like to post facts to support your claims, please do so.

    8)

  234. Jen

    For those interested, here is the latest study regarding asthma and acetaminophen….

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19210907?ordinalpos=3&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    Acetaminophen use: a risk for asthma?Allmers H, Skudlik C, John SM.
    Department of Occupational Medicine, University of Osnabrueck, Germany. hallmers@uos.de

    A growing number of studies show that regular use of acetaminophen (paracetamol) carries a dose-dependent risk of developing allergies in general and asthma in particular and of worsening other respiratory diseases and lung function. The most disturbing finding has come from the population-based Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, in which use of paracetamol-but not aspirin-in late pregnancy was positively associated with asthma when comparing children whose mothers took paracetamol “sometimes” and “most days/daily” with those whose mothers never took it. Assuming a causal relationship, the percentage of asthma attributable to paracetamol use in late pregnancy was 7%. In this review, we present data from the most important studies published since 2000. Although the pathophysiology remains unclear, the available data justify a warning to the general public that the uncritical use of over-the-counter acetaminophen can lead to the development of allergies and asthma, even in utero.

  235. Todd W.

    @Greg in Austin

    Regarding eggs, there are some vaccines for which the pathogen is grown in eggs (e.g., influenza). Therefore, there may be some egg proteins in the final vaccine. These vaccines carry an allergy warning saying that individuals who are allergic to eggs should not receive the vaccine. Not all vaccines are prepared in this manner, though.

    Info from the FDA’s “A Parent’s Guide to Kids’ Vaccines” web site.

  236. Jamie

    to bob and all of those affected by autism, whether or not they believe it was caused by vaccines, my thoughts and prayers go out to you. i personally hold doubt that vaccines cause autism but i can understand how certain coincidences may warrant a second look. there’s nothing stupid or wrong about that, but if this falsfication of data is true we must acknowledge that and move forward towards understanding the true causes and cures. the funding of autism research is a precious resource that we must not waste on dead ends. i hope dr. wakefield or any of his colleagues has enough integrity to acknowledge and reveal the truth so that monetary and intellectual resources may be allocated to better things.

  237. It turns out journalist Brian Deer made it up:-
    Sunday Times Journalist Made Up Wakefield MMR Data Fixing Allegation:
    http://tinyurl.com/djbtzq

    And he was helping the US Justice Dept sink 4500 US kids claims for vaccine damage compensation – what kind of normal journalist does that? Ans: none.
    US Federal Court, US Justice Dept & The Sunday Times – More Questions Than Answers
    http://tinyurl.com/ac5xkt

  238. Todd W.

    @Clifford G. Miller

    I noticed that the first link you provided (the second one didn’t work) was big on guessing and kinda short on evidence. Although, I thought it a bit ironic that the word of Dr. Wakefield was offered as evidence of his innocence. That site is full of anti-vax hyperbole, but does not back any of it up with solid evidence.

    Try again.

  239. Richard

    Scientific studies have changed from what was done in the past. Now the outcome is decided and the data is made to fit. If the children don’t fit the outcome, you eliminate a few children to skew the results. The CDC does this. Look at the following:

    http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2009/01/28/cdc-fraud-tax-dollars-and-italian-vaccine-mercury-study/

    US Research Fraud, Tax Dollars And Italian Vaccine Mercury Study
    Posted on January 28, 2009 by childhealthsafety

    “Documents disclosed here under US Freedom of Information show the US Centers for Disease Control [CDC] spends US tax dollars in foreign countries on studies to claim the vaccination programmes they promote for US children are safe when they know the results of the studies will produce false and misleading negative results.

    “Just such a study recently published from Italy funded by the US CDC claims to show that the known neurotoxic mercury additive in vaccines, Thiomersal, is not harmful to children and the study has received wide-spread publicity [“Neuropsychological Performance 10 Years After Immunization in Infancy With Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines” Tozzi et al, Pediatrics 123:2:475-482].

    “Mercury is toxic in parts per billion. What the US public were not told is that the study was certain to be unable to detect any effect. The US CDC internal email exchange disclosed here [see more below] obtained under US Freedom of Information shows that to be able to detect any effect in children with the methods used, the dose applied by the age of 3 months had to be more than 50 millionths of a gramme of mercury and more than 100 millionths of a gramme by the age of 6 months.”

    And just what is the American government doing paying for studies done outside of the US? So Wakefield seems to be normal when it comes to medical research. Looks like he just did what the good ole US gov’t does, too.

    Where is the vaccination research linking vaccinations to food allergies? Why haven’t any major studies been done? Answer – because the link would be found and it would hurt vaccine sales. We don’t want research that might find out that vaccines are not all that safe. Vaccines are big business and that is what runs the government.

    In a nutshell here is the basic connection between vaccinations and food allergy.

    US: One in every 17 children < 3 has food allergy.

    1960 – children received 1-2 vaccines
    2007 – Children receive 48 doses of 14 vaccines by age 6
    Vaccines contain an adjuvant that increases the body’s immune response to protein in the vaccine. Patents for adjuvants list ingredients that include a mixture of vegetable and animal oils that have a trace of food protein in them. This is a protected trade secret and does not have to appear on the package insert.

  240. For Todd W [Feb 25th at 4:31 am]

    here is the working link:-
    “US Federal Court, US Justice Dept & The Sunday Times – More Questions Than Answers”
    http://tinyurl.com/aaq6bd

    Todd comes out with sweeping claims based on thin air – the usual tactics – “big on guessing and kinda short on evidence” ……………. “That site is full of anti-vax hyperbole, but does not back any of it up with solid evidence.”

    Heh, Todd, there is plenty of solid evidence on the site, you just don’t want people to go and read it themselves. Here is an excellent example of hard fact:-

    “Vaccines Did Not Save Us – 2 Centuries of Official Statistics”
    http://tinyurl.com/bldkq7

  241. A. Poulsen

    No one has said anything about common food additives such as MSG and Nutrasweet. Did you know that these two ingredients are neuro-toxins? I am sensitive to both of these and had I not been an adult may have suffered brain damage as a result from overdosing through food. Why is no one looking at the food? Prepared baby food is LOADED with kind of junk…that seems more plausible to me that vaccines. People my age were given some of the most primitive vaccines around and yet, the incidence of autism was not nearly as great in my generation. It could be the food but rest assured, the FDA will NEVER look at it as an issue. Too much campaign and political money involved.

  242. It looks like it was not Wakefield who was fixing the data but journalist Brian Deer:

    “Sunday Times Ordered ‘Remove Wakefield MMR “Data Fixing” Story’ ”
    http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2009/07/02/briandeerdowninflames/

  243. Clifford Miller, nice try, but did you actually read that article? Wakefield himself filed the complaint, so the articles have to be taken down pending investigation. But to an antivaxxer, I guess facts are clearly fluid and subject to distortion when needed.

    So your claim that it looks like Deer fixed the data is totally without merit and strikes me as antivax propaganda. Care to say anything else?

  244. No. Brian Deer is the complainant. And there is more news today:-

    “Sunday Times’ Discredited – Wakefield’s Autism Research Verified”
    http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2009/07/05/wakefieldreplicated/

    Nice try Phil trying to confuse people though.

    If people want to see more about Deer being the complainant they can read all the articles listed with links at the end of the above article “Sunday Times’ Discredited – Wakefield’s Autism Research Verified”.

  245. Clifford Miller you are utterly wrong. That link you provide is antiscience of the highest order. Deer has NOT been discredited. And I see links there to parents who have “cured” autism– BALONEY.

    I am not the one confusing the issue, it is the antivax people who are spinning and distorting reality. And because of that, parents are scared to vaccinate their kids, herd immunity is dropping, and poor kids like Dana McCaffery die of totally preventable diseases.

  246. Not much fact to what you say is there? But there is on the web pages with the links I provided. Anyone can see that.

    And Phil, the issue is child health safety. The parents who had their children vaccinated and now have serious illnesses were not anti-vaccine – they had their kids vaccinated. There is no point being one dimensionally reductionist on such a serious matter.

    It just does not cut it to say “you are wrong”, “antiscience”, “Deer has NOT been discredited”, parents curing autism being “BALONEY”, “spinning and distorting”. It’s just words.

    And abuse and personal attack just makes the other guy look so much more reasonable don’t you think. Keep it up Phil. Good job. By my, you are an angry boy aren’t you.

  247. Debra K

    HeY HeY. Old messages here.But I had to get my 2 cents in.Daughter dammaged by pertusses vac bad reaction 2 times!!!!!I am an A## for getting these shots! Not anyone else!! You listen to Docs this is what you get they listen to big pharma thats what they got.Once more another dammaged child!!!!!!!!!!!!!!BAD news Almost every parent I know of ASD kids can tell you what vaccines did the kid in and when. Bunch of bull around.Thats all! COVER UPS THATS ALL!!

  248. Ross Davis

    You are all misinformed. Wakefield never claimed causal evidence. He discovered a high correlation between the timing of the MMR and the onset of autism. His findings urged further research. It was never his intent that people stop vaccinating.

    We should thank Wakefield rather than demonize him. His findings precipitated the removal of the dangerous levels of mercury, and instigated the research on the connection between the two. Perhaps you are familiar with the study claiming the vaccines were the trigger rather than the cause of the autism. The autism that is triggered by the vaccination appears to be genetic, and it accounts for about 15% of the cases of autism.

  249. Michael Polidori

    I readily agree with everything Ross Davis has said. In addition, I would comment further on the infamous “retraction” that is widely publicized and misreported.

    13 researchers were involved in the original Wakefield study at the center of the autism controversy. Their study showed MMR MIGHT be a cause of autism and/or bowel problems. Their conclusion stated MORE STUDY was needed. Their conclusion stated they had NOT PROVED A CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP between MMR and autism. 10 researchers were involved in the “retraction of an interpretation”. These 10 researchers STILL STAND BY THE STUDY AND ITS CONCLUSIONS.

    The media reported incorrectly, people made the wrong assumptions and conclusions, the government regulatory agencies understood and did nothing to resolve the issue. The study’s conclusions were MIS-INTERPRETED by people believing that MMR was PROVED to cause autism.

    IT IS THIS MIS-INTERPRETATION THAT THE 10 WAKEFIELD RESEARCHERS ARE RETRACTING. The 10 researchers did NOT disclaim/retract the study or its conclusions or its recommendations. They were forced to produce SOMETHING, probably under coercion, that would satisfy the powers involved. This “retraction of an interpretation” was the only thing they would give them. Government and industry and media are now performing their own “misinterpretation” of the “retraction”, claiming this proves Wakefield performed bad science and produced bad results. These shills go further and claim that because Wakefield has now been “proved wrong”, it is clear that MMR does not cause autism. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    ANYONE who states that this retraction shows Wakefield et al were wrong is a shill for the pharmaceutical industry, a lying dishonest troll guilty of continuing to damage our children. Any greedy beasts involved in the payoffs/disinformation or knowing-sheep unable to honestly stand up against the egregious harm being inflicted on infants and children, are deserving of appropriate punishment meted out by or at the direction of those whose lives have been affected. Professional banishment and imprisonment are not enough for the harm they have done AND ARE CONTINUING TO DO.

    People like Plait, Richard Horton, Sian Griffiths, Ian Gibson and Susan Mayor, AD NAUSEUM, drone on and on about Wakefield’s “errors” and “bad science” and “wrong conclusions” when they KNOW Wakefield et al were ABSOLUTELY CORRECT in their entirety, their procedures, their conclusions, and in standing by their study.

    The level dishonesty and heinous manipulations of science and scientists by the government and industry is maximum. That alone should tell everyone that Wakefield et al are on the mark.

    My unretractable statement;
    1. because of the gross dishonesty exihibited by industry, government and educational professionals in this matter;
    2. because of the relentless persecution of a completely innocent, competent, professional, honest man;
    3. because of the huge pile of money involved in vaccines in general, which is being liberally thrown around by snake oil salesmen buying “science” and “scientists” to “discredit” Wakefield;
    4. because of the pressure being brought to bear on honest members of the research and medical professions by the example they are setting in the unrelenting persecution of Wakefield in journals and the media and government;

    MY CONCLUSION? – MMR vaccine is definitely the cause of regressive autism. They should have never gone after him so hard, so brutally, with so many obvious lies and deceptions

  250. Jen

    “MY CONCLUSION? – MMR vaccine is definitely the cause of regressive autism. They should have never gone after him so hard, so brutally, with so many obvious lies and deceptions”

    Yeah, that’s what Johnson and Johnson would love for you to think, since they are now funding Wakefield’s vaccine research at Thoughtful House. All this focus on vaccines is conveniently distracting everyone from a much more likely cause of autism, TYLENOL.

    Poor Dr. Wakefield…he just doesn’t learn, does he? Still taking money from the wrong people for all the wrong reasons.

    Looks like I’m not the only one who suspects that Tylenol is a causative factor in ASD’s…http://www.grc.nia.nih.gov/branches/rrb/dna/pubs/Becker%20and%20Schultz%202009.pdf

    (And yes, before everyone jumps down my throat, I am well aware that Medical Hypotheses is not a peer-reviewed journal… but at least it’s a step in the right direction.)

  251. Brian DeFrancesco

    You conspiracy nutjobs astound me. Your trust is knee-jerk in favor of whatever idiot claims conspiracy.
    I was a daily newspaper reporter long enough to know that corporate doesn’t dare interfere with editorial (at least in the United States). No one ever told me what to write. No one ever suppressed or interfered with one of my stories. Period.

  252. Rachel

    ” Bob Schatz Says:

    My gut feeling tells me that genetic disposition is a large factor, maybe the only one in some cases. Another consideration when it came to child #2 with same parents. Decided that with same genes the risk would be increased if an environmental factor was introduced that imapcted child #1.

    Also considered postponing and spreading our the vaccine regimen for him.”

    Bob – Sorry for your shabby treatment on the site. Spreading out vaccines, introducing less thimerosal into your kid after your first child had regressive autism doesn’t seem weird. There is no link statistically between vaccines and autism which means it is safe for most recipients and an important public health measure against very dangerous illnesses. However, statistics can’t tell you what happened in your one case.

    Here’s a clip froma web MD article
    http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/searching-for-answers/vaccines-autism?page=5

    “Neither [NIMH Director Tom] Insel or I are ready to discard the vaccine hypothesis, but we don’t think there is anything in vaccines that causes autism in the vast majority of cases,” Swedo tells WebMD. “In earlier cases where vaccines caused rare complications, we figured it out quickly. Since vaccines are given so often, if there was a strong connection between vaccination and autism we would know it by now. What we are not discarding is the one-in-ten-thousand or one-in-a-million cases that might have a link.”

    Spreading out immunizations and requesting shots without thimerosal seems like a harmless way to deal with doubts. Kids still get immunized and they get less mercury in their bodies which can only be a good thing.

  253. Lydia Wigs

    I agree that anti-vax people are motivated by emotion, not science and logic. What is interesting to me is WHAT is motivating relatively smart people to get so vehemently attached to this issue? I could understand a Christ Scientist refusing ALL interventions, but what makes skinny jeans, coffee and anti-vax all fit together (at least that is the trend among my peers)? Do anti-vaxxers feel that this is their way to exercise control? Many of my friends having children seem to oppose many other modern medical interventions. I can understand that people my age (mid thirties) have never witnessed all the childhood diseases they were vaccinated against, and therefore don’t know what harm they can do. But even with no first hand knowledge, how do so many of them ignore the risks and choose to believe the tiny (and I am giving them the benefit of the doubt here) risk of autism outweighs ALL the diseases that immunizations DEFINITELY protect against? Really, WHY DO THEY WANT TO BELIEVE THIS?

  254. Ali

    Here is a site with huge Information On Pregnancy Diseases And Genetic Testing. You can find information regarding Autism in:
    http://www.geneticsofpregnancy.com/Encyclopedia/Autism_Pervasive_Developmental_Disorder.aspx?pid=62

  255. RFW

    Bob Schatz: you are putting the health of your second child, yourself, your wife, and other children at risk because you are thinking illogically. So illogically, in fact, that there’s a name for it, namely “post hoc, ergo propter hoc”. Or in ordinary English, concluding that because A occurred before B, A caused B.

    You forget about all the millions of children who have been vaccinated and NOT developed autism.

    I think there’s another word applicable here: egotism. You are so sure you are right that you don’t care about the sickness and death that may result from your actions – and from your spreading disinformation. You need to learn a little humility and contemplate that possibility that you are wrong.

  256. Lynn

    So was Hippocrates wrong when he said all disease starts in the GUT? I don’t believe that it said anywhere that all children will become autistic from vaccines. Those that are sensitive to certain preservatives in the vaccines, may or it can trigger it. Those preservatives end up in the gut.There should be more research on the subject. There are countless studies on preservative and what they can do to a person body. And I don’t think it’s up to the media, government or pharmaceutical company to dictate what individuals should or should not put in their own body.If you believe pumping mercury and aluminum in your body will help you, then go ahead. More power to you! Has anyone read the packet inserts to this or any vaccines.
    You may be surprised.

  257. JGH-4774

    Dr. Andrew Wakefield??? Except where I am stating my personal opinion (clearly noted), these are the facts:

    1) Dr. Wakefield (MB BS FRCS FRCPath) was a research gastroenterologist from the UK.

    2) Dr. Wakefield is a husband, a father, and interestingly the son of two physicians himself. His mother was a GP and his father was a neurologist.

    3) Dr. Wakefield’s training in medicine was solid.

    Andrew Wakefield graduated in 1981 with a degree in Medicine from St. Mary’s Hospital, part of the University of London, one of the finest medical schools in Europe. He then trained as a gastrointestinal surgeon and qualified as Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1985. His specialized training and residency in GI surgery lasted seven years. He eventually developed as a specialist in inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease. At the prominent Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London, Wakefield was a Senior Lecturer in Medicine and Histopathology and served as a key member on the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Study Group, University Departments of Medicine and Histopathology. Approximately two years after the 1998 Lancet paper, Wakefield was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2001 in recognition of his published research.

    4) Dr. Wakefield is (in)famously the lead author of an “early case series report” (not a study) published in The Lancet in 1988 that reported that Lymphoid Nodular Hyperplasia (LNH) and enterocolitis were found in 12 ASD children.[1]

    5) There were two key co-authors of the 1998 Lancet paper. Professor John Walker-Smith and Dr. Simon Murch.

    6) Dr. Simon Murch was at the time of the 1998 Lancet study, Senior Lecturer in Pediatric Gastroenterology at the Royal Free and University College School of Medicine. Dr. Murch is now Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health at Warwick Medical School.

    7) Professor John Walker-Smith served as “Senior Clinical Investigator” on the 1998 Lancet paper. His reputation is even more impressive. Walker-Smith, Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Gastroenterology, is perhaps the most eminent pediatric gastroenterologist in the world. He is essentially the founding father of the discipline of Pediatric Gastroenterology worldwide. Go ahead. Google this guy.

    (8) Professors Walker-Smith and Murch are obviously eminently qualified pediatric gastroenterologists. Personally, I find it unlikely that they participated in malfeasance during the generation of this case series report. In addition, personally, I find it unlikely that Professor Walker-Smith, as Senior Clinical Investigator, would participate with Dr. Wakefield in egregious misconduct during the execution of this case series. If Wakefield did (and anything’s possible) he hid it well from Professors Walker-Smith and Murch.

    9) Both Professor Walker-Smith and Dr. Murch support Andrew Wakefield.

    10) ALL the parents of the children who were the subjects of the report published in 1998 in The Lancet have gone to great lengths to voice their support of Andrew Wakefield and have described him as a kind and caring physician.

    (Isn’t it interesting that the sole source of the complaint that led to the GMC proceding against Drs. Wakefield, Walker-Smith, and Murch was by Brian Deer. Who is Brian Deer? What are his medical qualifications? Who does Brian Deer work for? Has Brian Deer ever written articals in The Sunday Times advocating for the pharmaceutical industry before? I’ll let you go look for yourself and reach you own conclusions.)

    11) Dr. Wakefield never claimed in his case series report published by The Lancet in 1998 that the MMR vaccine causes autism (as the major news outlets have reported repeatedly and mistakenly). Dr. Wakefield did not even claim that the MMR jab causes colitis. Neither hypothesis was ever tested by Wakefield in his paper. Wakefield, Walker-Smith and Murch merely reported that they found LNH and enterocolitis in twelve ASD children.

    –Demonstrating a causal relationship between the MMR jab and colitis or between the MMR jab and autism would, of course, be impossible in a case series report, by definition.–

    12) Again, the 1998 case report by Dr Wakefield, Professor John Walker-Smith and Dr Simon Murch published in The Lancet did NOT state or claim that the MMR vaccine causes autism. The 1998 Lancet paper reads, quote, “We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome (autistic enterocolitis) described.” …. “We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction. In most cases, onset of symptoms was after measles, mumps, and rubella immunization. Further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to this vaccine.”

    In other words, Wakefield et al. were in he early stages of proposing a hypothesis to test: “Can the MMR jab cause an insult or injury to the GI tract (observable as LNR or chronic enterocolitis)?” That is what they did. And that is a reasonable hypothesis to test.

    13) Do I personally believe that Wakefield is a fraud or a quack or scumbag (or worse) as many pro-vaccine detractors have called him? Well, it is impossible for me to know, or any of us to know, with certainty. It is possible, either way. But, personally, and this is just my intuitive feeling; it seems to me after taking a detailed look at Wakefield’s background, that it is more likely that he is a good man, a well trained research gastroenterologist, and an empathetic physician (this really comes out if you read the testimony of the parents). Certainly, it was audacious to test a hypothesis that challenged the safety of the combination MMR vaccine, and thus the National Immunization Program, and thus one of the fundamental beliefs of Medicine (which is so profoundly influenced by the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry).

    14) The Feb 28, 1998 press conference to announce the publication of the 1998 Lancet paper played a big part in the origin of this controversy. And this may be the fault of several individuals, not only Wakefield. Apparently, the press conference was orchestrated by Wakefield’s boss, Professor Arie Zuckerman, the Dean of the Royal Free and University College School of Medicine. Zuckerman desired to bring fame to the College. [2] Zuckerman knew well how Wakefield felt about the combination MMR vaccine. And, yet Zuckerman directed the inevitable question about the combination MMR vaccine at the press conference directly to Dr. Wakefield. This is where, when asked, Wakefield infamously stated he thought monovalent MMR vaccines were more safe than the combination MMR vaccine. With that, the UK media circus took off. Which, one could argue, is the fault of the British scandal-loving media as much as Zuckerman’s fame seeking or Wakefield’s remark at the press conference.

    15) Let’s be clear with the facts. Wakefield was not instructing parents or recommending that parents not vaccinate their kids. In fact, he was advocating for MMR vaccination. He simply stated that, in his opinion, the monovalent MMR vaccines were more safe than the combo vaccine. Furthermore, the monovalent MMR vaccines *were* available in the UK at the time (despite Paul Offit’s false statements to the contrary). In addition, Wakefield was not developing a competing MMR vaccine. That is ridiculous. This accusation was propagated by one Brian Deer. Andrew Wakefield is self-admittedly not an immunologist nor a vaccine scientist. He is a gastroenterologist.

    16) How can anyone here have an informed dialogue about the allegations of misconduct against Dr Wakefield and Professor Walker-Smith and Dr Murch if they won’t read even one analysis of Wakefield et al’s position? If one is not open to considering the position and testimony of both sides of these serious allegations (Wakefield/Walker-Smith/Murch vs. Brian Deer and the GMC), then how can you say that you have done your homework? How can you say that you are fully informed?

    I invite everyone reading this web page to read “On Second Looking into the Case of Dr. Andrew J. Wakefield” by William Long. Please read it critically (you should!). It is 16 pages long. It was written by a rather interesting retired professor [6] who taught religion, sociology, history and law. This is not Jenny McCarthy.

    17) If anyone wants to hear Wakefield’s side of the story, here it is.[4] [5] [6] The latter two are very recent March/April 2010 video interviews where you can see and hear the man for yourself.

    I will let readers decide for themselves if the following documents are compelling or not. And, please actually view these documents and interviews before you make judgments or post feedback (wouldn’t you ask the same for yourself).

    *Lastly, I apologize for the length of this post. The events surrounding what happened during the production of the Wakefield et al. paper published in The Lancet in 1998 -are- complex. This is no short, easy answer.

    ——————————————————————-

    [1] Wakefield, A. et al., Ileal lymphoid nodular hyperplasia, nonspecific colitis and pervasive developmental disorder in children. The Lancet 1998;351:637-641.

    [2] “On Second Looking into the Case of Dr. Andrew J. Wakefield” by William Long, MDiv, PhD, JD

    [3] Dr. Long holds a BA (honors) and PhD (Religion) from Brown University; and a JD from Willamette University College of Law (# 1 in the Class of 1999); and a MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, MA (summa cum laude). Fascinating fellow. [ http://www.drbilllong.com/About.html ].

    [4] “That Paper” by Andrew J. Wakefield.

    [5] http://goldenhawkprojects.blogspot.com/

    [6] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/10/wakefield-interview.aspx

  258. JGH-4774

    Corrections:

    (1) “This is no short, easy answer” should read of course, “There is no short, easy answer.”

    (2) The citation given after, “It is 16 pages long. It was written by a rather interesting retired professor…” should be [2] [3], not [6].

  259. Michael Polidori

    To JGH-4774

    Thanks for the article and the enlightenment

  260. Chris

    Um, JGH-4774 … you seem to think a theologian, blogger, Mercola and the disgraced doctor himself are reliable sources? I caught you lying a while ago, I am sure that is a habit you find hard to break.

    But that is neither here nor there… I was just looking for instances of Miller spreading lies about Brian Deer. Who may actually bring legal action against him. What kind of lawyer libels a journalist in the UK?

  261. Michael Polidori

    It’s nice to be able to go to one web page and see all of the shill lies and deceptions in one place. From the personal attacks on a parent of an autistic child, to the ridiculing of a parent’s concern by equivocating causation potential of vaccination with the car ride home, to fear mongering with disease #s, to attacking an autistic’s parent as appealing to authority while ignoring shills “speaking from authority” by claiming to have family members who are autistic, to quoting a study by Fombonne claiming he has no conflict of interest, to screaming & slinging antivaccinationist accusations instead of addressing the toxins present in all vaccines and ignoring the damage that is admitted to be caused by them in susceptible individuals, to the disingenuous attempts at sympathizing only to attack a parent’s real concerns with the same ignorant shill deceptions/lies/fraud… It’s all here, just waiting to be taken apart… Now for my two cents, which is actually coming from other’s pockets, and adds up to more than two cents…

    In a 2008 CBS News interview Dr Bernadine Healy said “Vaccines may cause autism” & “It is inexcusable that the proper research has not been done”

    Dr Bernadine Healy – Vassar summa cum laude, Harvard Med cum laude, Director of the NIH, Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, Chair of The Research Institute of The Cleveland Clinic, world renowned and respected. Her opinion on this issue should not be ignored & cannot be dismissed.

    The shills or dupes always claim people looking at vaccines as a possible factor in the cause/rise in autism are anti-vaccinationist, anti-science, nutjobs… but they say this while they are unable to refute the evidence of vaccine harm, unable to explain autism’s cause & unable to offer a better correlation for rising autism rates than vaccines.

    People like me, able to think critically when viewing many pieces of evidence, can see through the shill/dupe endless non-sensical ad hominem of anti-vaccinationist rhetoric and fear mongering. “Anti-vax” is not the reasoned postion we have, and the shills know this. It is about identifying those children who are susceptible to vax damage BEFORE they are injected. It is about making vaccines as safe as possible and using only those vaccines that are necessary. It is about putting science and the public interest back into the relationship between our regulatory agencies and industry.

    Anyone who doubts our regulatory apparatus is corrupted only has to look carefully and completely at the Vioxx murders committed by Merck. The Lancet estimates 45,000 – 60,000 dead. Australian litigation revealed Merck executives and scientists knew Vioxx was killing people in 1996 and all through it’s marketing from 1999-2004. They lied to the FDA and the NEJM. Paid Elsevier to publish a FAKE peer reviewed journal with “studies” promoting Vioxx and Fosamax. Elsevier admitted publishing fake journals for 9 drug companies with 13 in the works, apologized for it, claimed they stopped all pubs & they wouldn’t do it again. Merck threatened scientists trying to expose the deaths Vioxx was causing. A JAMA published study in 2000 by Topol and Nissen showed Merck’s ignoring deaths in it’s own data given to the FDA and giving NEJM false data to match the safety conclusions it was reporting. The FDA ignored Topol/Nissen & 6 other peer reviewers. Merck scientist Alise Reicin did the threatening & is now a Merck executive. Merck did this, and much more, over ONE drug, that it KNEW WAS KILLING AND INJURING ITS CUSTOMERS. Vioxx displaced Naproxen garnering $11.5 billion in sales
    Merck executives and scientists murdered for money, and did much more as the FDA stood by, then slapped Merck with congratulations for pulling the drug voluntarily after 5 years of helping Merck kill
    Merck backed the killer drug pargluva during this time frame, partnering with Bristol Myers. Pending final approval Topol & Nissen (Cleveland Clinic) stepped in again using Merck data given to the FDA and demonstrated Pargluva was also a killer. In the middle of the Vioxx scandal the FDA asked Merck for more safety data. Merck and Bristol did not comply and walked away from Pargluva and their partnership without another word.
    Merck also developed and marketed the USELESS Gardasil during the same timeframe as the Vioxx killings, pargluva fraud and attempted Vioxx cover-up. Merck executives and scientists bribed and lied and deceived their way to marketing the most expensive vaccine ever created. Bribed their way to mandates in 2 states (Va & Tx), fraudulently used epidemiology to “prove” HPV causes cancer, “partnered” with Glaxo and Astrazeneca to promote HPV/cervical cancer connections, even going so far as to tamper with the 2008 Nobel, half going to Zur Hausen for “discovering” HPV causes cervical cancer (it doesn’t, but that’s another long story, involving bribing doctors, scientists, and even showing the first cracks that I am aware of in PBS objectivity in their 2 interviews of Elizabeth Garner in 2006 by Warner and Brown)
    On top of the all this known bad behavior, unpunished or even recognized by the FDA, Merck is trusted with making 12 vaccines. Does anyone here think Merck is not tampering with the system still to avoid the collapse of the Vaccine Court and the VICP through the overwhelming liabilities if autism is admitted to be caused by vaccines? Glaxo makes as many vaccines as Merck and has been bribing and paying off officials in England to nail Dr Andrew Wakefield for 7 years. Elsevier CEO Crispin Davis, his brother judge Nigel Davis, The Sunday Times owner James Murdoch, “reporter” Brian Deer, The Lancet editor Richard Horton. These top 2 drug makers are WEALTHY & UNSCRUPULOUS and I am sure partly fuel the shills coming onto these pages. Not the people that have been duped by the web of lies/deceipt, but the spinners. And there are quite a few spinners on this blog… the drug industry and our regulatory bodies cannot be trusted any longer. the system needs a serious makeover, including criminal statutes regarding bribing and taking of bribes… but back to my two cents…

    That vaccines damage children and adults is a fact supported by the FDA CDC VICP. There is a huge difference of opinion on whatteh OBVIOUS correlation of the 20 year tripling of the vaccine schedule and the 20 year 33 fold increased prevalence of autism means. Shills claim there is no correlation, without being able to offer any viable explanation/correlation themselves for increasing autism rates. Genes cannot explain a rising prevalence of autism, FDA/CDC/APA/AAP all admit that changing diagnosis/better awareness CANNOT explain most of the rise (most of the rise in % of kids affected is real). Yet shills/dupes continue to resurrect the false notions of genetic causes and diagnostic changes being the major factors.

    There is another correlation to rising autism, vaccine profits. Many toxins are added to increase per dose profit. Antigen is the most expensive and critical component of vaccines. Making antigen with genetically engineered bacteria and yeast (beginning in the late 1980s) increases profit margins but adds a slew of toxic materials to vaccines, including non-self DNA fragments, endotoxins, other cellular debris plus NOVEL toxins from altered bacteria.

    In spite of the cost savings with genetic engineering, antigen is still expensive. Relatively cheap chemical adjuvants (like aluminum hydroxide or squalene & other adjuvant oils) are used to prolong and intensify an infants immune response to the antigen, allowing less antigen. Compounding the problems, adjuvants will also intensify and prolong an infants reaction to many immunoreactive contaminants that come along with genetically engineered antigen

    Then there is the pile of fraudulent epidemiology (studies of records) that shows “no evidence”. Large scale studies of records are used because they can bury the low incidence of autism or have a study design to manipulate data and/or results. Also, epidemiology cannot prove anything, but can show a correlation, if the autism numbers were large enough, that would indicate clinical investigation is warranted. All of the major studies are simply manipulations of available data to get the pre-ordained result of finding “no evidence”. Fombonne’s infamous Canadian study is a perfect example of this insidious practice. Additionally Fombonne’s conflicts of interest as an expert witness defending vaccines against claims of causing autism are too great to ignore.

    Large clinical studies (studies of children) using toxin-free vaccine against the current schedule are needed to find the truth. Dr Healy, Dr Yazbak and Dr Wakefield call for these studies, but the industry and the puppet bureaucrats of our regulatory agencies refuse to do such studies. They ignore the evidence presented by a few truly independent scientists and doctors attempting to point to the necessity of large human clinical studies through small studies of animals showing the harm vaccines cause (Hewitt, Magos, Hornig and many more).

  262. Andrew

    “Dr Bernadine Healy – Vassar summa cum laude, Harvard Med cum laude, Director of the NIH, Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, Chair of The Research Institute of The Cleveland Clinic, world renowned and respected. Her opinion on this issue should not be ignored & cannot be dismissed.”

    Thank you for giving me the best laugh I’ve had all day. After sanctimoniously accusing pro-vaccine doctors of being shills for big pharma with no evidence other than the fact that without making the accusation, you’d have nothing at all, you cite a former tobacco lobbyist as one of your sources.

  263. Michael Polidori

    “Andrew” claims Dr Bernadine Healy was a tobacco lobbyist, and ignores everything she says. Her stay at TASSC was a short one. Some respected scientists, doctors & researchers were duped into being TASSC members, while many were knowingly compromising their integrity.

    Dr Healy was duped, and corrected her mistake.

    “Andrew” then claims I wrongly maligned “pro-vaccine doctors” as “shills”, but doesn’t give any details about who I wrongly maligned or what the truth is… other than “Andrew” saying I have no evidence… when the evidence was posted right where I used each doctor’s name.

    Fombonne’s manipulation of using different databases as if they were one in his Canadian study is well known. Fombonne’s lucrative conflicted sideline as an expert witness for the vaccine industry is well known, while he purports himself to be an autism expert… his only real devotion in life is money, while he imposes life-long sentences on children & their families as more kids become autistic every day through an improperly administered & unsafe vaccination program that Fombonne fraudulently defends…

    Yes “Andrew” joins the ranks of shills willing to injure & kill immune impaired children… the very ones that should be protected by herd immunity are the ones we injure and kill by directly injecting them with live vaccines they can’t defend themsleves against or vax toxins they are unable to metobolize properly or are susceptible to be damaged by.
    Good job Andrew!!

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